Bangladesh says that it firmly stands by its decision not to open its border to the Rohingyas now.
“The international community is pressuring us to accept the refugee as per the international customary law. It’s unfair,” said Foreign Minister Moni.
“Right from the time Rohingyas began taking refuge in Bangladesh, we have been a persistent objector to their entry here. When one country persistently objects to such an issue, the international customary law cannot be applicable to it.”
Last week in an official statement Myanmar president Thein Sein said, it’s “impossible” for Myanmar to accept the Rohingyas because they are illegal immigrants and do not belong to the ethnicity of Myanmar.
Bangladesh doesn’t look set to change its mind any time soon
“If Bangladesh does not open its border, the poor people will face very serious trouble,” said Nurul Islam, a Rohingya community leader in Bangladesh.
Some rights activists and Rohingya issue experts said that - although the primary responsibility to resolve the Rohingya issue lies with the Myanmar government - by denying shelter to the refugees, Bangladesh is acting against international humanitarian law.
Kelley Currie, a fellow with the Washington-based think tank Project 2049 Institute and a former Asia policy adviser in the US State Department said that Bangladesh is obliged to provide refuge to the Rohingyas.
The first issue is the basic international legal obligation not to return individuals who are fleeing persecution for ethnic, religious or political reasons, said Currie.
“In this case the Rohingyas clearly qualify as refugees if they are able to cross an international border.”
Bangladesh claims that it is not a party to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention or its 1967 Protocol, and is therefore not obliged to accept the Rohingyas.
- Myanmar - the question is does Myanmar have resources to contain this crisis. It has been said no it doesn’t have it really.
- Then International Law&Ethics puts it as norm to accommodate fleeing refugees (such as Syrian refugees now accommodated in Turkey, etc) -
- but Muslim country Bangladesh also has no resource or capacity, thus political will to accommodate Rohingya refugee.