Yes,if no miracle happens in future ,they are. Since their exodus in Bangladesh ,two years ago in August 2017, almost zero progress happened in terms of their repatriation in Myanmar. Several bilateral meetings are held , some treaties are signed, promises are uttered all of which are resulted into some eye-washing yet time consuming formalities.
Surprisingly enough, Bangladesh has already a set example to tackle this apparently ‘way too difficult’ situation. On 9th of August In 1978 a remarkable treaty was signed between the government of Myanmar and Bangladesh on how to repatriate the Rohingya people to then Barma. This treaty is considered a perfect one keeping all the aspects in consideration by the experts of foreign policy. The most significant clause of that treaty is the admission of the Rohingyas as the citizens of Myanmar by the military government of Myanmnar and actually soon after the treaty all the fled away Rohingyas were sent back to Rakhaine in batches successfully under the diplomatic pressure of China,the USA and the United Nations . Projects were taken out in Myanmar to give them citizenships and to recompense their losses. Unfortunately, with the death of Ziaur Rahman the entire process came to in halt and the governments after the regime of Zia seems so unwilling to carry on this legacy of success including both the BNP and Awami League. BNP failed to pay due attention to the crisis and Awami League is adamant enough not to recognize any achievement by the other governments.
Moreover, the current geo political circumstances are not same as the 70’s. Persuading China has become the key task to get all the repatriation projects or the trials against the culprits behind the genocide a success.
After having a pause, China once again has become intimate to Bangladesh in terms of foreign policy pushing India behind but this time the friendship took a completely different mode. Unlike the diplomatic tie of the era of Ziaur Rahman, the tie is more between government to government than to country to country this time. In this third term of Awami League regime, the government is in huge need of international support and China is there with all her support in return of Rohingya habitation in Bangladesh and other economic projects in Bangladesh in favour of China. For instance, China became the top source of foreign direct investment (FDI) overnight for Bangladesh last fiscal year (2017-2018 FY), according tothe central bank. This means the Chinese FDI in Bangladesh was six times the figure received during FY17 when the net flow amounted to $ 68.58 million. Bangladesh is also hesitating to go to ICC (International Criminal Court) against Myanmar telling Myanmar is not a signatory country of ICC where the head of ICC is willing to take any initiative if Bangladesh cooperates actively.
China is investing a record 7.3 billion in a deep sea project in the Rakhaine state as a part of the country’s ambitious One Belt One Road (OBOR) project connecting the country to the Bay of Bengal. India is watching over these economical projects of Myanmar lustily for long although it is quite obvious that China is the triumphant in this case. Although the chance of India or any other country have not been finished yet. A massive industrial park with a special economic zone is already on their way in the Rohingya deserted Rakhaine state where India can easily have her significant amount of share. Sources of huge amount of gas and oil on the Bay of Bengal are also highly economically tempting.
Thus the Rohingya atrocities and their subsequent exodus is a completely pre planned multinational economic venture executed under the veil of racism. To protect their economical interests both China and India are ready to do anything to block any international attempt against Myanmar. Even recently the USA has welcomed the plan of relocating Rohingyas from Cox’s bazaar to Bhasan Char,a plan which is seriously against the will of Rohingyas and under criticism of the humanitarians world wide.
Is Bangaldesh a part of the plan?
There is no doubt that keeping Bangladesh under control is the nucleus of the plan. The racist Myanmar janta have been behind the Rohingays for decades but they never had emerged with that much velocity before as they did in 2017 . Myanmar left no form of inhumanity to exercise upon them so that the Rohingyas never ever dare to come back and rest responsibility is up to Bangladesh to keep them in here. May be Bangladesh was not well informed of the plan at the very beginning but soon she became well aware of the total plan otherwise a decision of relocating them to the Bhasahan Char instead of sending them back wouldn’t have taken out. Refugees are subject of getting their rights back in their own lands worldwide instead of keeping them in the host country having no proposed time limit.
Instead of being sympathetic, some of the countries seem to take this huge humanitarian crisis a perfect time for making mockery. For instance India and Saudi Arabia are sending back their Rohingya refugees sarcastically enough not to Myanmar but to Bangladesh. Are they considering Bangladesh a dumping place for them? OIC and ASIAN are successful enough to keep their mouth shut so far.
Other countries are not to be blamed always as Canada is offering some citizenships to the Rohingyas but Bangladesh takes no initiative further as if she is in a love with the refugees to keep them in here whatever happens. Thus the whole task of rehabilitating Rohingyas in Bangladseh is inhumanly ludicrous with a deep ruthless economical and political interest inside.
The writer is a teacher of an English medium school based in Dhaka