Invest in Arakan State to End the Burmese Refugees Crisis

Dhaka: Many Bangladesh newspapers published today a story that the Bangladesh government urged the United States and international community at large to invest in Arakan state to end the refugee crisis.

The Bangladesh government made the request yesterday when a four-member high-powered delegation from the US State Department sought Bangladesh’s views on how to create a long-term humanitarian solution to the Muslim refugee crisis in Burma.

According to one Bangladesh newspaper, the Bangladesh government urged the United States and the international community to invest in the Rakhine state of Myanmar to create livelihoods so that it could bring a permanent end to the suffering of Muslims in Arakan.

The Bangladesh government says Investment in Rakhine will also ease the burden caused by the ongoing influx of Muslim refugees into the Bangladesh.

The delegation arrived in Dhaka yesterday after visiting for three days the camps in Rakhine state to see the condition of Arakan state. The delegation met many people from political, religious, social and government organizations.

The team met U Wanna Maung Lwin, foreign minister and U Aung Min, a minister from president office in Nay Pay pyidaw before leaving for Bangladesh from Burma.

The team met senior officials of the Foreign Ministry in Dhaka yesterday as soon as they arrived yesterday.

During the meeting, the officials also reiterated that Bangladesh wanted to send back the remaining Muslim refugees through bilateral negotiations with Burma.

In response to the US team’s query about Bangladesh’s policy towards the operation of NGOs in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps, ministry officials said the government had disallowed renewal permits for three international NGOs working in Noapara and Kutupalong camps, as they had worked beyond their mandate.

The US team is comprised of Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Alyssa Ayres, Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Joseph Y Yun, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration Kelly Clements, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Daniel Baer.

The US Ambassador in Dhaka, Dan Mozena, accompanied the delegation.

The US team will also consult with UN officials, NGOs, and members of the diplomatic community in Dhaka and will visit Cox’s Bazar and Teknaf today.