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Myanmar envoy due in Dhaka today

By Adil Sakhawat
January 10, 2017

A special envoy from Myanmar is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka today, for a three day visit regarding a variety of issues.

Although there has been no message from Myanmar on the purpose of the visit, Foreign Ministry officials apprehended that the Rohingya influx which began about three months ago may be discussed in the meetings.

During his visit, Myanmar’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs U Kyaw Tin is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque, officials said.

The Rohingya exodus from northern Rakhine began after the Myanmar army launched clearance operations in the area, as part of search efforts to locate the insurgents behind deadly raids on police border posts on October 10.

Officials added that Bangladesh would speak frankly and openly with the envoy to resolve the issue should it come up in the agenda.

In a diplomatic memorandum handed to Myanmar Ambassador in Dhaka Myo Myint on December 29, Bangladesh demanded for repatriation of around 50,000 Myanmar citizens who are currently staying in the country, since October 9.

However, according to Reuters report on December 30, Director General of Myanmar’s Foreign Affairs Ministry Kyaw Zaya said that Myanmar has plans to take back only 2,415 Myanmar citizens in 2017.

The presence of undocumented Myanmar nationals has long been a sticking point between the two countries, with Bangladesh having repeatedly asked for repatriation of around 300,000 that have been living here illegally, in addition to 33,000 registered refugees from Myanmar.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approved plans to take immediate diplomatic initiatives to repatriate the Rohingyas living in Cox’s Bazar, as well as to count the number of Rohingyas living in Bangladesh, in last week of December.

The plan also includes initiatives to limit the movement of Rohingyas, according to cabinet ministry reports seen by the Dhaka Tribune on condition of anonymity.

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