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Ongoing ethnic, religious tension, violence 'hinder' Rohingya repatriation to Myanmar

By Dr Pranab Kumar Panday* 

In a recent article published in the South China Morning Post, attention is drawn to the escalating tensions and violence in Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh. While it is essential to shed light on the challenges faced by this vulnerable community, it is equally important to provide a balanced perspective that considers the broader context of this complex issue.
Indeed, the plight of the Rohingya is deeply concerning, and their experiences must not be downplayed. However, it is also crucial to acknowledge the commendable efforts of the Bangladeshi government and international humanitarian organizations in providing refuge and support to over a million displaced Rohingya.
These collective endeavours have resulted in tangible improvements in living conditions, access to education, healthcare, and vocational training for many refugees. Additionally, the potential repatriation of Rohingya to Myanmar, while a contentious issue, must be approached with careful consideration of the conditions necessary for a safe and voluntary return.
International cooperation and sustained diplomatic efforts remain paramount in achieving a sustainable resolution. By recognizing the progress made and the complexities surrounding this crisis, we can work towards a more comprehensive understanding of the challenges faced by the Rohingya population.
The article paints a grim picture of a "second genocide" (though title was later changed) looming over the Rohingya community. However, it is crucial to recognize the efforts made by the Bangladesh government in providing shelter and assistance to over a million Rohingya refugees who fled persecution in Myanmar.
Bangladesh's willingness to offer refuge to the Rohingya is commendable and reflects the nation's commitment to humanitarian values. By opening its borders and providing essential services, Bangladesh has shouldered a significant responsibility, not just for its own citizens but for an entire displaced population. This act of compassion, while not without its challenges, highlights the country's dedication to upholding the principles of human dignity and rights.
It is a reminder that amidst adversity, there are nations willing to extend a helping hand to those in desperate need, setting a positive example for the international community. While the situation remains complex, it is important to acknowledge and support these efforts as we collectively work towards a more sustainable resolution for the Rohingya.
Moreover, while the article emphasizes violence within the camps, it overlooks the significant progress made in recent years. Humanitarian organizations, along with the Bangladesh government, have been working tirelessly to improve living conditions, provide education, healthcare, and vocational training for the Rohingya. 
This concerted effort has resulted in tangible improvements in the lives of many refugees
The possible repatriation of Rohingya to Myanmar is indeed a highly sensitive and complex issue, as discussed in the article. 
While the idea of repatriating these persecuted people to their homeland is noble and desirable, the ground realities in Rakhine State, Myanmar, present significant challenges. To ensure a safe and voluntary return, it is imperative to establish a stable and conducive environment for the Rohingya population.
Unfortunately, this condition remains unmet, primarily due to the ongoing ethnic and religious tensions, violence, and displacement that continue to plague the region. The Myanmar government's willingness and ability to address these issues, provide security, and ensure the protection of the Rohingya community are central to any successful repatriation efforts.
Until these fundamental conditions are met, the apprehension surrounding the repatriation of Rohingya to Myanmar is entirely justified, and international efforts must continue to address the root causes of the crisis and advocate for a durable solution that prioritizes the safety and well-being of the Rohingya population.
Rohingya crisis has regional and international repercussions that extend far beyond borders of Bangladesh and Myanmar
International cooperation is undeniably pivotal in resolving the Rohingya crisis. Given the complex nature of this humanitarian issue, the involvement of global organizations such as the United Nations is imperative. These organizations can serve as neutral mediators, bringing together the governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar to engage in meaningful dialogue.
Furthermore, they can offer essential resources, both financial and logistical, to aid in the repatriation process and the restoration of stability in Rakhine State. By pooling international expertise and resources, the global community can work towards a comprehensive and sustainable solution to the crisis, one that ensures the safe return of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar and addresses the underlying factors contributing to their displacement.
Such cooperation is not only ethically necessary but also in the interest of global stability, as the protracted Rohingya crisis has regional and international repercussions that extend far beyond the borders of Bangladesh and Myanmar.
While the challenges faced by the Rohingya are undeniably severe, it is essential to avoid sensationalism and maintain a balanced perspective. Bangladesh's efforts, along with the contributions of the international community, should be acknowledged and further encouraged. By working together, we can move closer to a sustainable solution that ensures the safety, dignity, and well-being of the Rohingya population.
It is imperative to address the dissemination of misinformation regarding the Rohingya situation in Bangladesh. Painting a broad stroke of oppression and escalating violence without a nuanced understanding of the complex circumstances only serves to perpetuate a skewed narrative.
While challenges do exist, it is crucial to avoid sensationalism and acknowledge the multifaceted efforts being made by the Bangladeshi government and the international community to support and protect the Rohingya refugees.
Failing to do so not only undermine these constructive endeavours but also hinder progress towards finding a sustainable resolution to the crisis. It is our collective responsibility to approach this issue with accuracy and empathy, ensuring that the reality is represented in a manner that reflects the complexities of the situation.
*Professor of Public Administration at the University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh



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