‘Joint working group by Nov 30 for Rohingya repatriation’

Dhaka, Oct 26 – Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Thursday said Bangladesh and Myanmar will form a joint working group within November 30 next for the repatriation of Rohingyas who have taken shelter here in the face of persecution on them by military forces in Rakhine State.While talking to reporters after returning home wrapping up his two-day visit to Myanmar, the minister said, “Earlier, the two countries had agreed to constitute the joint working group. But during my visit, I finalised the date to set all the terms and regulations of the group by November 30.”
The terms and regulations of the joint group will be formulated keeping the recommendations of the Kofi Annan-led Advisory Commission on Rakhine State and the five-point proposal of the UN in mind, he said.
Asaduzzaman said his Myanmar counterpart Lt Gen Kyaw Swe assured them of taking back the displaced Rohingyas from Bangladesh.
Following a long discussion on how to deal with the influx of Rohingyas into Bangladesh, the Myanmar government agreed to halt the exodus and move as fast as possible to restore normalcy in Rakhine, he added.
“As Kyaw Swe tried to describe Rohingyas as Bangladeshis, I told him that around 35 crore people around the globe speak in Bangla but it doesn’t mean that they all are Bangladeshis and here in Bangladesh, there’s no such situation which may trigger the exodus of our people,” the minister said.
During his meeting with Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, she also informed him that they have already started the groundwork to implement the recommendations of the Kofi Annan Commission to resolve the Rohingya crisis, he said.
Asaduzzaman also said the Myanmar government handed over an obscure list of terrorists without mentioning their parents’ names or addresses to the Bangladesh delegation suspecting that they might have fled into Bangladesh. “The list is now in the hand of IGP. We assured them of taking action against the militants,” he added.
Some other issues like border security, smuggling of drugs and human trafficking were also discussed at the meeting, he said.
The home minister went to Myanmar on Monday for bilateral talks and returned home on Wednesday. – UNB