DHAKA, August 11, 2018 (BSS)- A high-profile Bangladesh delegation led by Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali today visited villages around Maungdaw, a town in Rakhine state of Myanmar, to see the progress of repatriation process for Rohingyas.
Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque and some members of joint working group accompanied the Foreign Minister. The delegation members left Sittwe for Maungdaw at noon, foreign ministry sources said.
Myanmar’s Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Minister Win Myat Aye was with the Bangladesh delegation.
The foreign minister was taken to the border on the Myanmar side where few thousand displaced Myanmar nationals have been staying at the zero line, said a press release of the Foreign Ministry here.
He also visited reception centers at Taung Pyo Let Yar and Nga Khu Ya, the Transit camp at Hla Poe Kaung having thirty thousand capacity to demonstrate Myanmar’s preparation to receive the returnees.
Ali also visited Shwe Zar village where around 148 pre-fabricated houses for returnees are being built with assistance from the government of India. He visited Pan Taw Pyin village from where most of the 15000 inhabitants fled to Bangladesh.
The foreign minister was informed that remaining Muslims and peoples of Buddhist and Hindu faith are currently living there.
Myanmar government has built 22 houses for internally displaced people and around 50 more houses for the returnees in the village.
Bangladesh delegation also saw the trail of wide-spread devastation suffered by the people of the northern Rakhine State.
The minister had a meeting with Mr. U Kyaw Tint Swe, Union Minister of the Office of the State Counsellor of Myanmar in the morning of August 10 in Nay Pyi Taw.
This was followed by a ministerial meeting between the two sides. Bangladesh side was led by the Foreign Minister while the Myanmar side was led by the Union Minister U Kyaw Tint Swe.
Later in the afternoon, the foreign minister paid a courtesy call on the Vice President of the Union of Myanmar H. E. Mr. U Myint Swe.
At the bilateral meeting, various aspects and challenges concerning the repatriation of the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals were discussed at length.
Both sides have agreed on the need for delivering on the commitments made by parties and speed up implementation of the bilateral instruments on repatriation concluded between Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister emphasized on the need for accelerating effort for creating conducive environment in the northern Rakhine State and building houses and villages for the returnees to facilitate repatriation.
Myanmar highlighted setting up of two reception centers, one transit camp, and engagement with UNHCR and UNDP and other initiatives as proof of her readiness to receive the returnees.
Over 720,000 Rohingyas fled Rakhine state of Myanmar and have taken shelter in Bangladesh since August 25 last year to escape persecution by Myanmar military.
Mamhood Ali left Dhaka Thursday for Myanmar for a four-day visit to discuss progress on Rohingya repatriation with Myanmar authorities. He is leading a 15-member delegation.
Besides, holding talks with Myanmar government leaders, the delegation will see whether a conducive environment has been created in Rakhine for the safe return of Rohingyas.