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Give back Rohingyas' rights

Visiting European parliamentary delegation yesterday put the emphasis on giving back the Rohingyas their basic rights, citizenship and opportunity to return safely to Myanmar from Bangladesh.

Delegation leader and chair of the delegation for relations with the countries of South Asia (DSAS) Jean Lambert said Rohingyas certainly need to have the right to live with their basic rights and right to citizenship.

She made the remarks while speaking to the media at the UNHCR-run relief distribution centre at Rohingya camp in Ukhia.

Lambert said the European Parliament expects safe and dignified return of Rohingyas to their homes in Myanmar.

She highly appreciated the Bangladesh government and its people for showing such generosity, saying such efforts deserve high appreciation.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam said the repatriation is getting delayed because it is a complex issue.

He said the government is moving ahead with repatriation process focusing on safe homes and safe environment for Rohingyas so they will not need to come back after repatriation.

Four teams of Members of European Parliament (MEPs) comprising 11 MEPs arrived in Bangladesh on Saturday and Sunday.

The EU teams visited different parts of Kutupalang camp and observed relief operations by international partners including UNHCR and IOM. They also observed health services operations in the Rohingya camp.

The UNHCR officials also held discussions with the visiting delegation members.

The delegation members also spoke with Rohingyas who shared their tales of sufferings.

The delegation members are expected to visit Myanmar on Thursday.

Members of the European Parliament's Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) are Pier Antonio Panzeri (Chair), Joachim Zeller, Soraya Post and Barbara Lochbiler.

Urmas Paet will represent the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET).

Marc Tarabella is representing the Delegation for relations with the countries of Southeast Asia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (DASE).

The members of the delegation for Relations with the countries of South Asia (DSAS) are Jean Lambert (Chair), James Nicholson, Richard Corbet, Wajid Khan and Sajjad Karim.

In October last year, the Council of the EU in its conclusions said it may consider additional measures if the situation does not improve.

However, it is yet to know what the conclusions will contain -- whether it will be arms embargo or targeted sanctions on the Myanmar government and its army.

On January 16, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a document on “Physical Arrangement” which will facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland from Bangladesh.

The “Physical Arrangement” stipulates that the repatriation will be completed preferably within two years from the start of repatriation.

(c) 2018 The Daily Star

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