Rakhine state parliament says no to resettlement of Rohingyas from Bangladesh

Myanmar’s Rakhine state parliament on Friday approved a proposal of a lawmaker urging the union government to reject resettlement of “non-citizen Muslim refugees in northern Maugdaw township, the Irrawaddy News Online reported on Monday (Apr 9).

The proposal was introduced to the parliament on Tuesday by lawmaker U Tun Aung Thein of Buthidaung township.  It was discussed in the parliament on Friday  and approved after there were no objections.

About 700,000 Muslim Rohingyas have fled Rakhineto Bangladesh after Myanmar military and the police launched massive operations in Rakhine state in retaliation against attacks of police and military outposts by Muslim militants last August.

In November, Myanmar and Bangladesh agreed to start repatriation of the Muslim Rohingya refugees on January 22, but the process has been delayed.

U Tun Aung Thein told the parliament on Friday that the minority Arkanese people and other tribes had left their homes because of fears and the whole area has fallen into the hands of the non-Myanmar citizens.

He warned that resettlement of Muslim Rohingyarefugees in southern Maungdaw could harm the sovereignty of Myanmar in the future.

The Rakhine state lawmakers also objected to the government’s plan to establish eight Rohingya villages in southern Maungdaw as part of the repatriation process.

“It is like opening a welcome centre for illegal immigrants and terrorists to establish Bengali villages in southern Maungdaw because it is adjacent to the sea.

Rakhine state Planning and Finance Minister U KyawAye Thein said he had no reason to object the lawmakers’ discussion but asked them to recognize the international pressure against government regarding its treatment of the Rohingyas.