Myanmar crosses the line

Published: October 09, 2018 21:51:11 | Updated: October 11, 2018 21:17:05


After playing the cards of political bluffs, Myanmar has now resorted to intrigues and falsehoods in order to prolong the Rohingya crisis. In doing so, though, the country has exposed its political viciousness and moral vacuousness. The latest audacious intrigue it has resorted to in showing the St. Martin's Island on its map may look like playing a prank but it is not. The generals, who are the string-pullers behind all the Naypyidaw misdeeds, have done so with an ulterior motive. At a time when the Myanmar government is at the receiving end of international criticism for its despicable programme of ethnic cleansing and unwillingness to take back the Rohingya refugees, it is exhausting excuses one after another to stall or delay the process. The agreement it reached with Bangladesh on safe and smooth return of those Rakhine people has not been honoured by the elected government in Naypyidaw at the instigation of the generals.

Now that the demand has become vociferous across the world for trial of the top military men for their part in the atrocities against the Rohingya, which is recognised as genocide by common consensus, they are unlikely to eat humble pie. Instead, they go for the offensive. Even Aung San Suu Kyi has become a party to the crimes against humanity. She is either turning a blind eye to the most vicious developments in her country or feels no qualm about siding with the military generals. Thus Myanmar has turned into a rogue state for long. At home it is following a policy of pampering its majority community -the Buddhists and on the diplomatic front using leverages of neighbours with whom it has clinched a few very sensitive deals involving Rakhine state to both parties' mutual benefits. A deep-sea port and a special economic zone are being built there.  No wonder, even rival regional powers have agreed to share the cake.

Had Myanmar not received the diplomatic support at the United Nations General Assembly or the Security Council from its economic allies, it would by now have faced economic sanctions - ones that would have hurt it. The mystery behind its staying defiant against honouring international will and bilateral agreement lies there. This is not for the first time that Myanmar has tried to use blatant lies for hoodwinking the international community. Earlier it published pictures of deserted and torched Rakhine villages as if no one ever lived there. Then its generals tried to establish that Rohingya refugees were returning home by publishing made-up pictures.

Some of this erratic behaviours and actions may be the works of diabolical minds but at the end of the day the men behind those are exposed. In this age of satellite communication, Myanmar's futile attempts to bluff the international community will not take it far. Rather, it will get entangled in its own conspiracy. The Myanmar ambassador has expressed regret for the falsification. There is no need to explore whether the regret is genuine or not. What is important to Bangladesh is Myanmar's readiness to honour the agreement it signed for the repatriation of its Rohingya citizens. The process of repatriation should begin soon and in right earnest. 

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