Govt needs to change body language while dealing with Myanmar: Prof Imtiaz

ICC, ICJ should be geared up for internationalisation of Rohingya issue, he says

Govt needs to change body language while dealing with Myanmar: Prof Imtiaz 

Dhaka, Apr 28 : The government needs to change its body language while dealing with Myanmar over Rohingya issue as the government has a five-year mandate, says an international affairs expert putting much emphasis on internationalisation of the issue in a bigger way.

“The body language must change when we’re negotiating with Myanmar. This is very important,” said Prof Imtiaz Ahmed of Dhaka University’s International Relations department mentioning that they (Myanmar) are the people who committed genocide, not anyone from Bangladesh.

Bangladesh wants a “peaceful” solution to the crisis and remains engaged bilaterally with Myanmar and internationally.

Bangladesh is currently hosting over 1.1 million Rohingya people in Cox’s Bazar district and most of them arrived here since August 25, 2017.

Prof Imtiaz, also director at Centre for Genocide Studies, University of Dhaka, said it would be easier to act on internationalisation of the Rohingya issue in a bigger way now.

“International Criminal Court (ICC) and International Court of Justice (ICJ) should be geared up to the maximum, particularly by supporting them with evidence of all kinds,” he said adding that this is going to put tremendous pressure on Myanmar, particularly when they will come to know that initiatives are in full swing.

Prof Imtiaz was addressing a seminar titled “Rohingya Crisis: International Role for Tangible Solutions in Rakhine” organised by the Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) in the city.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam spoke as the chief guest at the seminar chaired by DCAB President Raheed Ejaz.

Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque, UNHCR Representative in Bangladesh Steven Corliss and DCAB General Secretary Nurul Islam Hasib were also present.

Prof Imtiaz said it is high time for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to visit China and India promoting solutions, stretching from repatriation to formation of safe zones inside Myanmar for Rohingyas. “It’s urgently required.”

He said competent teams should visit important capitals around the world to impress the policymakers and other stakeholders regularly and repetitively.

The expert said Bangladesh is not only a country where Rohingya people are living but there are over 19 countries where they live in.

He suggested holding an international conference on Rohingya crisis inviting all 19 countries, including members of the media, human rights organisations, researchers and other civil and political stakeholders.

“This should be done in every six months — one in Bangladesh and one outside Bangladesh,” Prof Imtiaz said adding that the publication and dissemination of reports and visual footages from conferences would add to the knowledge on the Rohingyas and put pressure on Myanmar.

The expert laid emphasis on internationalising the Myanmar genocide of its minorities, including the Rohingyas, as Myanmar committed genocide against other minorities.

He suggested keeping a “constant gaze” on Myanmar and media has a bigger role to play.

Prof Imtiaz said climate conditions can make nearly 100,000 Rohingyas vulnerable. “If the international community is so eager to protect their lives they should come up with workable options.”

He said a bigger socio-economic net is required for maintaining cordial relationship between them and suggested thinking beyond the box for raising fund as US$ 950 million plus support needs to be ensured by the international community.

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