Tentative title of the book:
The Rohingya Exodus: Protracted Conflict, Refuge, and Global-Local Peacebuilding Avenues
It addresses a set of core questions about this crisis with global-regional significance:
· What is the nature of the conflict? Is it religiously motivated and who are the main actors and their objectives?
· Who are the Rohingyas? What are the main issues related to their identity and why did they end up stateless?
· How did inter-ethnic and inter-faith group relationships exist in the past and why did they deteriorate recently? What are the main factors that have driven inter-group animosity?
· Was it a genocide or ethnic cleansing? Is external intervention to stop genocide realistic?
· What are the environmental and ecological impacts of the Rohingya refuge in Bangladesh?
· What are the impacts of the mass displacement of the Rohingyas in general and women and children in particular?
· What are the perceptions of the stranded Rohingya refugees about their desired livelihood, and the best means and ways toward safe and secure repatriation?
· What are the regional and global security ramifications of the displacement?
· What are the roles of international communities as well as government and non-government organizations in managing the conflict?
· What is the role of the Rohingya Diaspora and their experience of exodus?
Amidst a humanitarian tragedy, the people of Bangladesh responded. One year on, the collective commitment of the international community to support Rohingya in Cox’s Bazar remains crucial.
Over 13,009 persons have been verified through the Government of Bangladesh and UNHCR joint verification exercise. Shelter upgrades continue, including mid-term and transitional shelter solutions with increased wind resistance.
The latest humanitarian situation and aid support.
On 6 September 2018, Pre-Trial Chamber I (the "Chamber") of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or the "Court"), composed of Judge Péter Kovács, Judge Marc Perrin de Brichambaut and Judge Reine Adélaïde Sophie Alapini-Gansou, decided by majority that the Court may exercise jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of the Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh.
Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi reaffirmed her country's commitment on Tuesday to repatriating hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people living in overcrowded refugee camps in Bangladesh, saying the pace would however be set by Dhaka.
The Bangladesh navy and Chinese construction crews have prepared Bhasan Char, an uninhabited island in the Bay of Bengal, for the transfer of 100,000 refugees from the Cox’s Bazar area; the relocation is set to begin in September. In May, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reportedly said that because Bangladesh is a disaster-prone country, “measures are being taken for their temporary shelter in Bhasan Char. They’ll stay there until they are repatriated.”
1. Is it a ‘conflict’ or ‘crisis’? Based on some participants intriguing question, a discussion took place whether it is justifiable to treat the issue as a one sided ‘atrocity’ versus a ‘conflict’ which denotes when two parties (perceived to be equal/less in power) are engaged in a dispute. 2. The Myanmar authority denies the Rohingyas as a distinct ethnocultural-linguistic group in Rakhine state. This state narrative—the pretext—led to expulsion and statelessness of the Rohingya people. The Rohingya problem is unique as they are non-citizens—denied of civic entitlement in Myanmar. Nonetheless, ‘ethnic identity’ can never be the justification for persecution. 3. Rohingyas sheltered in Bangladesh on or after 25 August 2017 are not recognized as refugees rather, they are termed ‘Internally Displaced Myanmar Nationals (IDMN); although, under the international legal framework, Rohingyas in Bangladesh are both refugees and stateless. Bangladesh is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention of 1951 and two Statelessness Conventions (989 U.N.T.S. 175, 1961). This has nulled legal status of the Rohingya in Bangladesh as well. Consequently, the United Nations’ High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) have only passive or secondary jurisdiction to serve the Rohingya IDMNs in Bangladesh (although it is learned that UNHCR is trying to sign an MOU with Bangladesh). According to the UN definition, any forcibly displaced people can be considered as ‘refugee’ and the international communities have obligations to this end. The Rohingyas should rather be considered more entitled because they are not only ‘refugees’ but also ‘stateless’ and ‘stripped off travel document retention rights’. 4. With reference to Canada’s lead role in ending apartheid in South Asia in the past, panel discussions asserted their confidence on Honorable Bob Rae’s —the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to Myanmar and Bangladesh—proposition for Canada in taking the lead role in Rohingya conflict resolution. 5. One of the most important recommendations of Honorable Bob Rae is to ‘make the Rohingya voices heard’. The dialogue also yielded the recommendation that the paramount question to devise short, medium and long-term conflict resolution strategies should be centered around ‘what the Rohingyas want for themselves?’ The essential means advocated is— extensive outreach involving representatives of the Rohingya Diaspora groups and activists spread over numerous countries in the world along with dialoguing with them in the Bangladesh camps. 6. CRRIC intends to hold an extended international dialogue on Rohingya Conflict in September 2018. 7. CRRIC is pleased to share with stakeholders the content of its ongoing in-depth research project to be published by the Lexington Books, USA as a policy and strategy literature for global readers, policy planner, and conflict resolution strategists. The book will be published in the summer of 2019.
CRRIC wishes to thank Arthur V. Mauro Center for Peace and Justice to host the event. CRRIC also acknowledges the contribution of philanthropist Mr. Abdo (Albert) El Tassi, C.M., O.M., LL.D, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada to patronize the event.
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