Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Japan urges Suu Kyi to ensure Rohingya's safe return

Rohingya refugees Japan urges Suu Kyi to ensure Rohingya's safe return
Melinda Barton | 14 January, 2018, 13:46

Asked about the admission on Wednesday by Myanmar's military that its security forces and Buddhist villagers killed 10 captured Rohingya during clashes a year ago, Suu Kyi stressed the importance of the rule of law and said the military will take responsibility.

Rohingyas who fled from the persecution of Myanmar security forces want to see a positive development including citizenship, security, and scope for enjoying their basic rights before they return to their country from Bangladesh, the UNHCR said recently.

Myanmar's civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, welcomed the army's admission that security forces had carried out extrajudicial killings of Rohingya Muslims, describing it as a "positive step", state-backed media reported on Saturday. The United Nations has described the crackdown as "ethnic cleansing".

About 650,000 Rohingya have fled the western state of Rakhine and elsewhere to neighboring Bangladesh, the United Nations estimates, after an attack on police by extremist Rohingya militants in August set off a violent backlash.

"This grisly admission is a sharp departure from the army's policy of blanket denial of any wrongdoing", said James Gomez, Amnesty International's regional director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

More than 655,000 Rohingyas have crossed into Bangladesh since August 25 past year, escaping a military crackdown in the Rakhine state, which many countries and human rights bodies have described as ethnic cleansing.

Myanmar and Bangladesh have been discussing a plan to repatriate the refugees. Myanmar said it would start the process by January 23, but an actual figure on the extent of the repatriation is not yet known.

The Japanese foreign minister said Tokyo, one of Myanmar's biggest foreign aid donors, planned to give about $20 million for humanitarian support to Rohingya refugees, subject to parliamentary approval, Kyodo said.

According to news report, Kono made the comments in a joint news conference with Myanmar's de facto, leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in the capital Naypyitaw.