United Nations, Feb 27: India has emphasised the need for an early return of displaced Rohingyas from Bangladesh to Myanmar, saying that it has the highest stake in resolving the issue since it is the only nation that shares a long border with both countries.
Speaking at the informal UN General Assembly meeting on Friday on the situation in Myanmar after the military staged a coup this month, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti said that it must be ensured that the recent developments in the country do not impede the progress made so far and the international community must encourage and support positive steps.
Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar, who fled Myanmar facing military crackdown, often considered as "ethnic cleansing" by many rights groups.
Myanmar doesn't recognise Rohingya as an ethnic group and insists that they are Bangladeshi migrants living illegally in the country.
Myanmar military seized the power on February 1, detaining the country's de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The military coup took place at a time when Bangladesh was spearheading a desperate campaign for safe return of some 1.1 million Rohingyas.
Tirumurti, addressing the issue of displaced persons from the Rakhine state of Myanmar, said India has the highest stake in resolving the issue of repatriation of the displaced persons since it is the only country that shares a long border with both Bangladesh and Myanmar.
"We have continued to counsel our partners on the need for a balanced and constructive approach to this issue. For this, mobilisation of support for the developmental needs of the local people is crucial. India has been consistently encouraging stakeholders to find practical and pragmatic solutions," he said.
He emphasised the need for an early resolution of the issue of Rohingyas.
Underscoring that a collaborative and consensus-based approach is key to arriving at a meaningful and practical outcome, Tirumurti said the international community must work to address the challenges that the concerned stakeholders continue to face so that this humanitarian problem is resolved in a timely manner.
"India will continue to work with both the governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar to enable the earliest return of displaced persons to their homes in the Rakhine State in a manner that is safe, speedy and sustainable," he said.
Commending Bangladesh for hosting over a million displaced persons in its territory, India said it is important for the international community to recognise and understand the humanitarian burden that Bangladesh continues to face and the efforts it has undertaken to ensure the well-being of the displaced persons.
"The international community must further support, financially and otherwise, efforts of the government of Bangladesh and also assist in ensuring that issues relating to radicalisation in the camps and other security challenges are addressed in an expeditious manner," Tirumurti said. - PTI