It is indeed a shame just how reluctant Myanmar has been when it comes to the issue.
To say that Bangladesh has gone above and beyond its call of duty in giving the displaced Rohingya refugees a place to stay would at this point be an understatement.
Over the course of the Rohingya genocide that started in 2017, hundreds of thousands of people were ousted from their homes, with Bangladesh being the sanctuary.
Bangladesh’s decision to welcome them and shelter them has been one of the most extraordinary acts of humanity this century, and is a high point for us as a nation.
However, we cannot continue to house millions of refugees, especially since the Rohingya deserve to live in their homeland of Myanmar with all of the rights afforded to them as citizens.
As such, it is disappointing to see that no visible progress has been made for the repatriation of these people.
Which the state minister reiterated in a meeting with the USAID delegation earlier this week.
It is indeed a shame just how reluctant Myanmar has been when it comes to the issue of repatriation.
A list of around 35,000 people has been given to the Myanmar authorities, but they have said nothing about the repatriation of these people.
If they remain silent when it comes to only a few thousand, one can only imagine their response when it comes to the entirety of the refugee population.
Being able to live in one’s country is one’s birthright. As such, the Myanmar authorities’ silence in this regard is akin to the actions that made the Rohingya refugees in the first place.
However, it is the support of the international community that, while increasing in recent times, has been historically most disappointing.
The US has expressed its support many times when it comes to the cause of repatriation, and the EU has done so as well.
Yet, over the past few years, all we have observed are words and empty promises.
And the fact that we are many years in with little to no results speak of just how ineffective the international community has been.
Bangladesh can work to make the lives of these refugees easier, but the ultimate goal is and has always been repatriation.
Anything less than that will be nothing short of injustice.