Won Thar Nu
While meeting with UN High Commissioner for Refugees Mr. Antonio Guterres in Nay Pyi Taw on 11 July, President U Thein Sein said Myanmar will not allow illegal immigrant Rohingyas to live in the country.
The only solution to the problem is that Rohingyas are to be handed over to the UNHCR, which needs to provide them food and shelter in refugee camps or they will be sent to a third county if it accepts.
He added that according to history, the British colonialists took Bengalis into Myanmar before it regained independence in 1948 making them engage in farm work. At that time, some settled down in the country because of their good jobs.
According to the law, Myanmar only accepts the third generation born of parents who have come to live in the county before 1948. In Rakhine State, there are complicated problems such as descendents of Bengalis who came before 1948 and illegal immigrants in disguise of Rohingya, said the President.
He continued that the issue has even threatened State stability so he is taking it very seriously. Myanmar will take responsibility for its own national ethnics only and illegal immigrant Rohingyas will not be accepted, he added.
Like Myanmar, the Bangladeshi government dismissed calls from the UNHCR to accept Rohingyas fleeing to Bangladesh when violent incidents erupted in Rakhine State last month.
“It is certainly not in the best of our interests to allow in a further influx of refugees. We want to make sure that refugees don’t enter Bangladesh in large numbers again”, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni told reporters in Dhaka.
The Bangladeshi government immediately sent back more than 1,000 Rohingyas entering the country on 12 June to Myanmar in three boats. According to Bangladeshi media, like Myanmar, Bangladesh sees the acceptance of 200,000 to 300,000 Rohingyas within decades as a burden and regards Rohingya as a stateless race.
At the meeting, President U Thein Sein and UNHCR commissioner also discussed the issues of war victims in Kachin State and returning of displaced people to their places in Kayin State.