DHAKA, January 28 (Asia Free Press): Bangladesh and Myanmar today resumed talks on repatriation of displaced Rohingyas back to their homeland nearly a year since February 1, 2021, military takeover of the country, the foreign ministry said in a statement, local media reported.
A Foreign Office statement comprised, “The first-ever meeting of the newly formed technical level Ad-Hoc Task Force for Verification of the Displaced Persons from Rakhine (Rohingyas) was held today virtually between Bangladesh and Myanmar”.
It stated in a statement, “both sides expressed readiness” to continue working closely to address “reasons causing a delay in the verification” of the past residency of the displaced people from Myanmar’s Rakhine state during the technical level discussion,” BSS reported.
According to the statement, Bangladesh’s Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) Shah Rizwan Hayat, who works under the disaster management ministry’s purview, and Myanmar’s Deputy Director-General of Immigration and Population ministry Ye Tun Oo led their respective sides in the talks.
The Myanmar delegation detailed “the technical difficulties and information gaps” on the issue but assured their counterpart of their cooperation to complete pending verification.
Tun expressed optimism that the Task Force would be instrumental in completing the verification process soon.
The statement said Hayat reminded the Myanmar side of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s humanitarian gesture in extending makeshift refuge to the significant number of displaced persons from Rakhine despite numerous constraints and challenges of Bangladesh.
“He (Hayat) expressed dismay over the slow pace of verification of past residency by Myanmar and offered all cooperation under the three bilateral instruments to expeditiously complete the verification process,” the statement read.
So far, Bangladesh has provided the neighbour biometric data of 8,30,000 Rohingyas while the Myanmar authority has verified only 42,000 of them.
Since August 25, 2017, Bangladesh has been hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas. Most of them arrived there after a military crackdown at their homeland, which the UN called a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” and dubbed by most rights groups “genocide”.