The World Refugee Day in the third week of June witnessed massive rallies all over the world generated by those who had become refugees– having had to flee their places of residence in different countries and seeking shelter in other countries. There was general criticism of the global apathy and inaction pertaining to this unfortunate scenario.
We in Bangladesh also saw huge rallies being held by Rohingyas in 29 camps in Ukhiya and Teknaf Upazilas within the perimeter of Cox’s Bazar demanding that they should be allowed to safely return to their homeland in Arakan, Myanmar with dignity. They also reiterated the greater proactive involvement of the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Nations and the European Union within this repatriation effort and process.
It needs to be mentioned here that on June 13, Noeleen Heyzer, six months into her appointment as Special Adviser on Myanmar to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres addressed the United Nations General Assembly and indicated that she was focusing on spurring peace talks through Asean and changing Myanmar’s policies toward the Rohingya – two efforts that would benefit from more global involvement. “My consultations with EAOs [ethnic armed organizations] have also highlighted the need for the international community to be better aligned with ground realities,” she said. This appears to have similarities with the demands made by the Rohingyas.
Analysts have noted that the evolving socio-political situation in the Ukraine and the global attention being given to that crisis within the European matrix appears to have persuaded the Rohingya community of more than 1.1 million — who have sought shelter in Bangladesh — that time has come to draw attention of the world, once again, to the absence of the required solution pertaining to their repatriation over the last five years.