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November 17, 2019

Faithfully implement bilateral agreement to resolve Rakhine issue

  • In its efforts to narrow the gap between the regions and states in terms of socio-economic growth, the Union Government is giving priority to Chin, Rakhine, and Kayah states, which have lagged in development.
    Rakhine State is not only behind in development, but also under the watch of the international community due to conflicts.
    We fully share the concerns of the international community over the violence affecting communities in Rakhine State. The issue in Rakhine is one of the complex challenges faced by Myanmar on its path towards democracy.
    In fact, the government’s efforts to bring peace and stability predate the violent attacks by the ARSA terrorist group in 2016 and 2017 that triggered the current humanitarian crisis. Since assuming office in 2016, the elected civilian government has placed the highest priority on addressing the situation in Rakhine State.
    As we work on the delicate and sensitive issue, deeply rooted since colonial times, we cannot examine or resolve any problem in isolation.
    We need to look at the issues from a multi-dimensional perspective. We must listen to the voices of all communities.
    Myanmar has reiterated several times its readiness to accept displaced persons currently residing in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. The agreement between Myanmar and Bangladesh calls for the issuance of identity cards to the returnees.
    To expedite repatriation, Myanmar delegations visited the camps in Cox’s Bazar thrice to address the delay in repatriation. They also met with displaced persons and explained to them the benefits of holding NVCs.
    The displaced persons in Cox’s Bazar cannot be classified as stateless because some have been issued identity cards by the Myanmar Government. We can issue citizenship cards to those who qualify for citizenship under the existing law. Those who do not have any identity card will be issued NVCs immediately. They can proceed with the process of applying for a citizenship at the same time.
    Many people have expressed their desire to return to Myanmar. The speedy repatriation of those who have long expressed their desire to return, including some 400 people of Hindu faith, should be allowed.
    We call on Bangladesh to faithfully implement the bilateral agreement, which is the only feasible way to resolve the issue of displaced persons.

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