Former Malaysian Foreign Minister Dr Syed Hamid Albar on Monday described the Rohingya crisis as a serious violation of human rights, genocide, and crime against humanity with implications at the regional level.
ASEAN, in which Myanmar is also a member, has not taken any meaningful step as there is a high level of tolerance and unwillingness to discuss the Rohingya crisis in the ASEAN mechanisms, he said.
Dr Albar made the remarks while addressing a webinar titled ‘The Rohingya Crisis: Western, Asian and Bilateral Perspectives’ organised on the occasion of the third year of the latest influx of Rohingya people of Myanmar into Bangladesh since August 25, 2017.
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, while addressing the webinar, rejected a notion of local integration of forcibly displaced Rohingyas in Bangladesh.
"The Bangladesh government rejects any notion of local integration of the Rohingya people in Bangladesh," he said in the webinar organised by the Center for Peace Studies (CPS) of the South Asian Institute of Policy and Governance (SIPG) at the North South University in Dhaka.
Experts from home and abroad participated in the discussion chaired by North South University Vice-Chancellor Professor Atiqul Islam.
Foreign Secretary Masud said the government is working on extending educational facilities for Rohingya children from grade six to nine in Myanmar curriculum and skills training for young members of the community so that they can maintain livelihood after returning to their ancestral home in Rakhine at the earliest, he said.
US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller said his country would continue to press Myanmar to stop institutional persecution against minority communities.
High Commissioner of Canada to Bangladesh Benoit Préfontaine stressed the need for ensuring accountability in Myanmar for crimes committed against Rohingyas as well as strengthening accountability efforts by the international community with, among others, sending UN Security Council referral to the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice.
Former foreign secretary M Shahidul Haque, now a Senior Fellow of SIPG, said Bangladesh should consistently and coherently pursue “hybrid diplomacy” involving bilateral, regional and multilateral pathways anchored in accountability and justice for resolving the Rohingya crisis with ensuring sustainable repatriation of the members of the community to Myanmar.
North South University's VC Islam said in his remarks as chair of the session that resolving Rohingya crisis at the earliest is essential for peace and stability in the region.
Professor Dr Sheikh Tawfique M. Haque, Director of SIPG also spoke in the discussion.
Moderated by Dr Ishrat Zakia Sultana, Assistant Professor, Dr M Jashim Uddin, Coordinator of CPS, gave vote of thanks in the webinar.
Several members of the Rohingya community participated in the session and presented questions for the discussants on the need of education for the young people in camps in Cox’s Bazar.
Over 8,60,000 Rohingyas crossed the border with Bangladesh in the last influx amid atrocities committed by the Myanmar military and it is extremist cohorts.
Bangladesh has been hosting more than 1.1 million Rohingyasfor years as two attempts to launch the repatriation on the grounds failed since the signing of repatriation agreements with Myanmar about three years ago.