Sushma Swaraj to visit Myanmar; focus on Rohingyas


The plight of Rohingya people in Rakhine state has received much global attention, following an exodus of more than 700,000 people to neighbouring Bangladesh after a military crackdown last August.

Her remarks came at a press conference in Nay Pyi Taw on Tuesday, which marked the end of a high-profile UN Security Council visit to Bangladesh and Myanmar.

The ambassadors visited refugees in Bangladesh over the weekend, and on Monday held talks with Myanmar officials, including the country's leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and military commander-in-chief Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing.

The military chief posted a summary of his meeting with the United Nations envoys on his official Facebook page, in which he attributed the refugee crisis to "terror acts of extremist Bengali terrorists".

Myanmar state-run media reports that the military there will be "taking harsh and stronger actions against such offenders" in the horrific rapes of Rohingya women and girls, documented by rights groups.

Myanmar also denied the Rohingya citizenship and accompanying rights.

Myanmar and Bangladesh have signed an agreement for the voluntary return of refugees who are eligible for repatriation pending verification.

Still, the Security Council envoys flew over villages burned and razed by the Myanmar military, which destroyed evidence of what happened there and allowed the government to claim the land as its own.

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"The United States will continue to pressure Myanmar to create necessary conditions for the safe and voluntary return of the Rohingya people to their homeland", Trump said in the letter to prime minister. "The second would be for the Burmese government to do it themselves", she said.

Meanwhile, Pierce pointed out that it would be hard for Myanmar alone to have the almost 700,000 refugees return home safely and smoothly.

Adams said it's important to note that while the doing its job, the U.N. Security Council is a political body made up of governments and that, "they're not doing their job".

"We believe that if the memorandum of understanding can be signed quickly and the U.N. agencies given unconditional access, that would be the best thing to do with the scale of the problem", said Karen Pierce, Britain's ambassador to the United Nations.

"They asked us why we hate each other and how we can get along with each other again", she told RFA.

The delegation visiting Myanmar traveled on Tuesday morning to Rakhine State and toured the border area, deputy United Nations spokesman Farhan Haq said.

An estimated 500,000 Rohingya people remaining behind in Myanmar are in need of humanitarian relief.

Aye Lwin also reminded the delegates that refugees living in makeshift shelters in Bangladesh as well as in Myanmar will face a major risk from floods and landslides during the fast-approaching monsoon season. The team said in March that it found evidence of human rights violations against the Kachin, Shan and Rohingya minorities "in all likelihood amounting to crimes under worldwide law".