Rohingya leaders have demanded a tripartite dialogue among representatives of Bangladesh, Myanmar and Rohingya leaders over their repatriation issue.
Leaders of the Rohingya community made the demand from a mammoth rally held near the extension field of Camp-4, Block-B at Kutupalong Refugee camp on Sunday, marking the second anniversary of the influx into Bangladesh following an offensive of Myanmar army in August 2017. They also urged the international community to take steps to ensure justice against the genocide carried out against the Rohingya community in Myanmar. Thousands of Rohingyas joined the rally waving different banners and placards seeking dialogue with Myanmar government to return home. Some of the placards read- ‘Going Home Campaign;’ ‘Talk to us about rights,’ ‘Talk to us about citizenship and Rohingya ethnicity,’ ‘Talk to us about security.’
Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights chairman Muhib Ullah, general secretary Moulavi Sayed Ullah and Rohingya leaders Hamida Begum and Kamal Hossain, among others, addressed the rally. Mohibullah said they would return home if Myanmar agreed to ensure their citizenship rights with Rohingya ethnicity, security and their rights to return to their own land. Two attempts for sending back Rohingya people failed as none from the community showed up to return to Rakhine of Myanmar from Bangladesh on 22 August 2019 and 15 November 2018.
Nurul Islam Majumder, the officer-in-charge (investigation) of Ukhya police station said about one lakh Rohingyas attended the rally that ended peacefully.
At the end of the rally, Rohingyas held a special prayer for the victims of the military offensive. Organisers claimed that a minimum of 3 lakh refugees joined the rally. All Rohingya leaders on stage wore their traditional white clothes. Many of the attending Rohingyas also wore traditional outfits to the rally.
The Rohingya leaders said that a dialogue must be held with Bangladeshi and Myanmar officials regarding their repatriation. They also demanded that Myanmar grant them citizenship and return their land to them for repatriation. The leaders said that the security of the Rohingyas must be ensured and the homes of 1 lakh 28 thousand Rohingyas in Bangladeshi camps must be returned to them. The leaders told the attending Rohingyas, ‘We must remain united all the time. If we must return to Myanmar, we will cross the border together.’ The rally was concluded through the recitation of poetry and musical performance in the Rohingya language. More than 7,00,000 Rohingyas, mostly women, children and elderly people, entered Bangladesh after fleeing murder, arson and rape during ‘security operations’ by the Myanmar military in Rakhine. The United Nations denounced the killing as ethnic cleansing and genocide, beginning from August 25, 2017.