By The Daily Star Correspondent Cox’s Bazar
Jan 30 2017 (The Daily Star, Bangladesh)
Myanmar’s “Advisory Commission on Rakhine State”, which visited three Rohingya slums and a registered camp in Ukhia and Teknaf upazilas of Cox’s Bazar in the last two days, yesterday said they would submit an evaluation report on their Bangladesh visit to Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi by August this year.
After visiting a registered Rohingya camp and a Rohingya slum in Kutupalong of Ukhia yesterday, former Lebanese minister of culture and UN Special Adviser to Secretary-General Ghassan Salame, who is leading the three-member team, made this comment while talking to journalists.
Two other members of the delegation are Myanmar National Human Rights Commission Chairman U Win Mra and Core Member and Founder of Religions for Peace in Myanmar U Aye Lwin.
In the report, Salame said they would make recommendations for focusing on elements for ensuring security, citizenship, fundamental rights to all permanent citizens of Rakhine state.
Around 9:30am, the delegation members along with country director of International Organisation for Migration (IOM) visited Kutupalong Rohingya slum and talked to some Rohingyas, who recently fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar.
They then visited Kutupalong registered Rohingya camp.
Around 3:00pm, they held a meeting with Cox’s Bazar Deputy Commissioner Ali Hossain at his office.
The DC told The Daily Star that the commission wanted to know from him about the condition of registered and unregistered Rohingyas.
Ali said as a representative of the government, he requested the commission to find out a permanent solution to the Rohingya crisis and take them back to Myanmar.
At present, around 33,000 Rohingyas have been staying in two registered Rohingya camps in Ukhia and Teknaf upazilas. Besides, 45,000 Rohingyas are now in Leda Rohingya slum, 90,000 in Kutupalong slum, 10,000 in Paschim Balukhali slum and around 5,000 in Shaplapur slum of Teknaf.
As per reports of different government agencies, around three lakh other Rohingyas are living in Cox’s Bazar, Bandarban, Chittagong and other parts of the country.
Talking to the commission at Kutupalong Rohingya slum, Rafiq Ahmed, 40, of Gouzbil village in Rakhine state, alleged that Myanmar army looted his house and also set it on fire.
Another Rohingya, Nurul Alam, 35, of Hatiyapara village, alleged that army had killed his two brothers.
Abu Siddique, president of Kutupalong Rohingya slum management committee, said the commission wanted to know from them in detail about the condition of Rohingyas who recently fled to Bangladesh from Rakhine state. They told the commission what they knew.
The Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, also known as Rakhine Commission, was formed to find lasting solutions to the complex and delicate issues in the Rakhine State.
The nine-member commission is led by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. It is composed of six Myanmar citizens and three foreign experts.
This story was originally published by The Daily Star, Bangladesh