Dhaka, Sept 7 (UNB) - The United States has said it will continue to press Myanmar to create the conditions necessary to allow safe, voluntary and dignified return of Rohingyas to their homes in Myanmar from Bangladesh.
It also said they will continue to work closely with Bangladesh, UN agencies, and international partners to meet the urgent needs of the Rohingya.
“It’s clear the crisis requires sustained efforts,” said Earl Miller, nominee to be US Ambassador to Bangladesh at a hearing at Senate Committee on Foreign Relations recently.
He, according to his statement, said Bangladesh faces significant challenges that they can work together to address in partnership.
“One is the Rohingya crisis. The numbers are staggering with Bangladesh hosting nearly one million refugees from Rakhine State in Myanmar,” he said.
Miller said they are deeply appreciative of the generosity of the Bangladesh government and people who have opened their borders and hearts to a Rohingya community that has suffered greatly.
“The United States, as always, is doing its part. We’re the largest donor addressing this humanitarian crisis providing $204 million since August of last year. We’re grateful for Congress’ funding and continuing support,” he said.
Dhaka, Sept 7 (UNB) - Regional lawmakers on Friday welcomed the decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) which ruled that it could exercise jurisdiction over the alleged crime of deportation of the Rohingya population, despite Myanmar not being a party to the Rome Statute.
“This is a milestone decision and a step forward towards accountability for the alleged atrocity crimes against the Rohingya population,” said Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) Chair Charles Santiago, a member of the Malaysian Parliament.
Santiago said this ruling, however, is for now just on the jurisdiction to investigate around the alleged crime of deportation and we must be cautious in our optimism.
It remains imperative that we continue to seek other international justice mechanisms, as well as the United Nations Security Council referral of Myanmar to the ICC for the wide array of atrocity crimes its leaders have been accused, including genocide and other crimes against humanity.
“This doesn’t mean the international community can take our collective foot off the pedal,”Santiago said in a statement UNB received from Jakarta.
On Thursday, the ICC found that, while the underlying “coercive acts” under the alleged crime against humanity of deportation of Rohingya took place in a State not party to the Rome Statute, the Court nevertheless could assert jurisdiction as an element of the crime had also occurred on the territory of a State party to the Statute –in this case, Bangladesh.
The Court also concluded that such jurisdiction extended to other crimes of humanity under the Rome Statute, particularly those on the persecution of a group and other inhumane acts.
“The ICC now has the opportunity to initiate a full investigation. This means bringing those responsible for the alleged human rights violations to account and possibly putting an end to the longstanding discrimination and injustices this community has faced in Myanmar,” said APHR Board Member Eva KusumaSundari, a member of the House of Representatives of Indonesia.
Sundari said this will undoubtedly bring some much-needed hope and optimism for the more than one million Rohingya who have suffered under decades of brutal tyranny in Myanmar.
“We lookforward to the recommendations of the preliminary examination concerning the crimes allegedly committed against the Rohingya people and hope for a full investigation and trial of those accountable for all alleged crimes under the jurisdiction of the ICC,” Sundari said.
In the meantime, the international community, including ASEAN states, must continue pushing for other potential mechanisms that could bring accountability and justice for all those victims of crimes across Myanmar and ensure those displaced can return, APHR said.
“More than one million Rohingya have been forced from their homes over decades of discrimination and violence. International accountability is an important step towards justice but must be pursued alongside other efforts within Myanmar to ensure that those refugees and displaced persons can return home in a voluntary and dignified manner with assurances for their safety and full access to rights as citizens of Myanmar,” Sundari said.
In August, the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar found patterns of gross human rights violations committed in Rakhine, Kachin, and Shan States, and called for the investigation and prosecution of Myanmar’s top military generals.
The Myanmar government has since continued to deny such allegations and have refused to accept the findings of the mission.
It is due to deliver its full report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on September 18.
Dhaka, Sept 6 (UNB) – The pre-trial Chamber 1 of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has decided by majority that the Court may exercise jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of the Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh.
This ruling was delivered following a request submitted by the Prosecutor pursuant to article 19(3) of the Statute, who argued that, although the coercive acts underlying the alleged deportation of members of the Rohingya people occurred on the territory of Myanmar, it may nonetheless exercise its jurisdiction, since an element of this crime (the crossing of a border) occurred on the territory of Bangladesh.
The Court is composed of Judge Péter Kovács, Judge Marc Perrin de Brichambaut and Judge Reine Adélaïde Sophie Alapini-Gansou.
The Chamber found that it has the power to entertain the Prosecutor's request under article 119(1) of the ICC Rome Statute, a well-established principle of international law according to which any international tribunal has the power to determine the extent of its own jurisdiction.
Furthermore, in light of the fact that Myanmar is not a party to the Statute, the Chamber noted that, while the Court has objective international legal personality, its jurisdiction must still be determined in accordance with the confines of the Statute, according to a statement of the ICC.
In relation to the central question contained in the Prosecutor's request, the Chamber decided, first, that article 7(1)(d) of the Statute contains two separate crimes (namely forcible transfer and deportation) and, second, that the Court may exercise its jurisdiction if either an element of a crime mentioned in article 5 of the Statute or part of such a crime is committed on the territory of a State that is party to the Statute.
The Chamber ruled on this basis that the Court has jurisdiction over the crime against humanity of deportation allegedly committed against members of the Rohingya people.
The reason is that an element of this crime (the crossing of a border) took place on the territory of a State party to the Statute (Bangladesh).
The Chamber further found that the Court may also exercise its jurisdiction with regard to any other crime set out in article 5 of the Statute, such as the crimes against humanity of persecution and/or other inhumane acts.
The Prosecutor must take the legally binding ruling of the Chamber into account as she continues with her preliminary examination concerning the crimes allegedly committed against the Rohingya people.
In this respect, the Chamber determined that such a preliminary examination must be concluded within a reasonable time.
Judge Perrin de Brichambaut appended a partially dissenting opinion to the decision solely based on procedural grounds.
According to Judge Perrin de Brichambaut, rendering the ruling requested by the Prosecutor would amount to an advisory opinion, which the Court is not allowed to do.
For these reasons, Judge Perrin de Brichambaut believes that the Court cannot rule on its jurisdiction in relation to the alleged deportation of members of the Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh at this stage, but that it remains open to the Prosecutor to present a request for authorisation of an investigation to a Pre-Trial Chamber under article 15 of the Statute.
Dhaka, Sept 6 (UNB) – Denmark has expressed its interest to invest in the poultry and dairy sectors to help Bangladesh boost protein production.
They expressed the interest when a five-member delegation, led by acting ambassador of Danish embassy Refika Hayta, met Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain at the secretariat on Thursday.
The minister said he apprised the delegation of the government project ‘ Ektee Bari Ektee Khamar’.
He also said that the government is providing incentives for poultry farming to meet people’s demand of protein.
Bangladesh will be benefitted if the two countries can work together in this sector, said the minister.
Dhaka, Sept 6 (UNB) – Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali on Thursday said Bangladesh has been trying in all fronts to ensure sustainable repatriation and reintegration of Rohingyas to their own homes in Myanmar.
He said the root cause of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas lies in Myanmar and they have to go back to their country of origin which is the only and ultimate solution of the crisis.
Minister Ali conveyed this to new Country Director of World Food Program (WFP) in Bangladesh Richard Ragan during a meeting held at his office.
WFP Representative, an American national who had a long working experience with WFP prior to his assignment in Dhaka, presented his credentials to Minister Ali at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before the meeting.
In the pursuit, Minister Ali expressed firm belief that World Food Program (WFP) will continue to play a pro-active and substantive role in their safe, voluntary, dignified and sustainable repatriation to Myanmar.
In response, the new Country Director expressed hope that the relations between Bangladesh and the WFP will be strengthened through enhanced engagements in the coming days.
He served at WFP Offices in Nepal, North Korea and Zambia in various capacities. He also served in the United Nations Ebola Emergency Response Team as Director of Operations and UNWFP as Emergency Coordinator for the 2015 Nepal earthquake response.
While accepting the credentials, Minister Ali welcomed him to Bangladesh and assured him of all out support from the government.
During the meeting, the Foreign Minister highly appreciated the role of WFP as the world's largest humanitarian agency in fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience.
He also deeply appreciated WFP’s immediate response in providing food assistance to the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals in Bangladesh.