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US for continuation of BD support to Rohingya refugees

By Financial Express Bangladesh

February 03, 2014

Observing that it will take time to initiate the safe return of Rohingya refugees to their homeland from Bangladesh, US Senior Adviser for Myanmar Judith Beth Cefkin on Monday sought the continuation of support they are getting in Bangladesh on purely humanitarian ground. Addressing a media roundtable at American Centre, the visiting US official emphasised that security concerns related to the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and the humanitarian issues in the regard need to be separated, and that Bangladesh should not detract from providing refuge to Rohingyas fleeing their country only on the ground of safeguarding the border. Myanmar is going through simultaneous reforms in different areas, including the democratisation in politics, dissolution of the centralised economy by the institution of open market economy and the move towards restoring peace and stability in society, and the US government expects Bangladesh’s cooperation in all the reforms, she said. It is a general international human principle that any country, not only Bangladesh, see to the basic needs when there are flows of people fleeing violence in their own place of belonging, she observed. Cefkin noted that US is also ready to take some refugees from Bangladesh, provided that ‘their eligibility as refugees’ are verified by the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHCR) process. She added that the long-term solution to the displacement of Rohingyas – as it was stressed by the US president Barak Obama during his Myanmar visit in 2012 – will hinge on the condition that they have the citizenship in that country. The US is in regular dialogue with the authorities in Myanmar to initiate the permanent solution concerning the Rohingyas that will take time, while it will be incumbent for the neighbouring countries to continue to provide the humanitarian support in this connection, she said, according to a news agency.