Diplomatic Corps

A long overdue UN resolution

Myanmar should grant citizenship to Rohingyas

In a much-awaited move, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on Monday urging Myanmar to grant citizenship to its Rohingya Muslim minority including equal access to services with other citizens of the country. We welcome this development wholeheartedly because Bangladesh has been at the receiving end of the repercussions of the ethnic conflict in the Rakhine state in the shape of Rohingyas fleeing their hearths and homes seeking refuge in Bangladesh. From time to time Bangladesh in the past had to bear the brunt of the influxes and there is a large residue left to be repatriated, an issue that is under negotiation with the Myanmar government.

We, for our part, have been urging the Myanmar government to accord citizenship rights to Rohingyas; in fact, we have been emphasising to the international community that it intercede in the matter.

However, we note that the UN resolution welcomes “continued positive developments in Myanmar toward reform and in that light we are hopeful that Myanmar will address the citizenship issue of the Rohingyas without attaching the condition that they will have to identify themselves as 'Bengali'.” It is important to note that the European Union drafted the resolution which was adopted by consensus, thus reflecting the urgency and earnestness of the world body to end the statelessness of Rohingyas in Rakhine state of Myanmar.