Rohingya crisis: Global sympathy is not enough

Asjadul Kibria   | Published: September 10, 2018 21:32:29 | Updated: September 10, 2018 22:14:37

Bangladesh has been bearing the heavy cost of sheltering the illegal Rohingya refugees in terms of economy, social security and environment. International Chamber of Commerce-Bangladesh (ICCB) has expressed deep concern over the Rohingya crisis.

In the editorial of its latest quarterly news bulletin, the chamber has pointed out that deforestation in the Rohingya camps cost at least Tk 7.42 billion or US$ 86.70 million during the last one year.  This is a conservative estimate.  Bangladesh chapter of the world business organisation has observed that the Rohingya crisis has put a heavy pressure on the economy and poses a big threat to the security of the country. Against this backdrop, the ICCB has strongly argued that Bangladesh deserves all the support and solidarity from the international community in facing the crisis.

When an international platform of the businesses points out the socio-economic impact of the Rohingya crisis, it sends a message to the global community: the world must get concerned and be proactive in addressing the multi-dimensional problem. But, as the international chamber has observed, global community must do more than showering sympathy on Bangladesh for hosting the Rohingya refugees. Bangladesh  deserves and needs material and diplomatic support from all countries and world bodies.

Many countries and international organisations expressed their satisfaction the way Bangladesh has so far managed the problem of Rohingya refugees. While such recognition is important for Bangladesh, it is not all. The design of the Myanmar junta to compel Bangladesh to bear a perpetual refugee burden needs to be defeated by the global powers.  

The ICCB has noted that a number of measures taken by the United Nations and big powers like the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union are yet to make any tangible progress in this regard.  This is a critical observation. The chamber favours a set of tough measures to overcome the crisis. It has suggested: "It, is, therefore imperative on the part of world leaders to put their foot down and force Myanmar in rehabilitating Rohingyas without any loss of time and provide them full citizenship and grant them civil liberties."

Myanmar has to accept the rightful claim of the Rohingya people to live in their land in Rakhine province. They are the people of the land of Rakhine and they are the legitimate citizens of Myanmar. ICCB rightly says that without recognising this fact, it will not be possible to reach a long-term solution of the Rohingya crisis.


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