China wants to resolve the long lasting Rohingya crisis

Special envoy meeting with foreign secretary

By:Armani Rahim, Staff Correspondent , AW

26 April, 2007

China wants mediating to resolve the crisis between Bangladesh and Myanmar about the Rohingya long lasting issue. The visiting Asia’s special envoy of Chinese Foreign Ministry  Mr. Sun Gouxiang said in a meeting with Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque in the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday. Opposing any attempt to bring the Rohingya issue to the international arena, he said China supports China’s bilateral resolution with Myanmar. He also expressed interest to visit Myanmar for intervention.

China’s special envoy Sun Gouxiang arrives in Dhaka on a four-day visit to discuss the situation in Bangladesh-Myanmar standoff on the Rohingya issue. On Tuesday, he first met with senior officials at the Foreign Ministry followed by the meeting with Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque where they discussed the details. Refering to the speech of the special envoy the Foreign Secretary said that Bangladesh would  welcome him if he wanted to intervene.

In the discussion, it was informed that Bangladesh has always been leading the bilateral negotiations to resolve the Rohingya crisis. But there was no response from Myanmar side. Myanmar accepted the Rohingya issue as a crisis of another and did not take any initiative to bring back its citizens. In addition to resolving the crisis, minority Rohingya Muslims can not stay with rights and dignity in their ancestral land Arakan, Myanmar. Generations after generation they had been having the right to live in Myanmar in the Rakhine state. During this time, the Chinese special envoy was requested to visit Cox’s Bazar refugee camps to talk to Rohingya there.

Rohingya makeshifts where refugee families live in southern Bangladesh. (Photo: Chief Reporter, AW)

Dhaka officials said that China’s special envoy had many misconceptions about the Rohingya issue. Myanmar has given many wrong information about the Rohingya issue to the international community. Bangladesh did nothing about these matters.

China’s special envoy said that the government of Myanmar is democratically elected, but they are dependent on the army in many matters. As a result of solidarity between Myanmar government and the army working together, many problems can be solved tough.

China’s has long-standing influence on Myanmar. But the democratic government headed by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is a very westernist. Meanwhile, China has always objected to the international solution to the Rohingya issue. Earlier, the United Nations Security Council tried to make a statement condemning Myanmar’s persecution of Rohingya, but it was not possible due to China’s objection. There is a comprehensive discussion with the international community about torture on Rohingyas.

It is to be noted that in October last year, nine soldiers were killed by unknown insurgent attacks in a border post in Myanmar. The Myanmar army started the operation in Rakhine state. There were allegations of the killing of Rohingya men,women and children indiscriminately in the area, arbitrary arrest to Rohingyas, rape of the Rohingya women, and the arson of their homes. From October this year, about 70 thousand Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh and took shelter in Bangladesh to protect themselves from Myanmar armies and police cruelty.

In January, Bangladesh stressed on the return back of all the Rohingya refugees including the recent wave during the visit of Burmese special envoy to Dhaka. During that meeting Bangladesh demanded to find out the root causes of repeated influx of Muslim Rohingya into Bangladesh and  underscored on ensuring all the basic rights to the Rohingya Muslims including Citizenship to prevent further influx of refugees.

China has strong ties with both Myanmar and Bangladesh, helping in infrastructure development in both countries. Relations with the both the countries have warmed further. China is trying to strengthen this relations  for a sustained  development in the region

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