5 years of Rohingya exodus, cries still left unheard

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Cox’s Bazar, Aug 25: Rohingyas who fled to Bangladesh back on 25 August 2017 in the face of persecution by the Myanmar army observed the fifth anniversary of their plight.

Marking the day as a “Black Day”, Rohingyas living in various camps in Ukhiya and Teknaf of Cox’s Bazar organised demonstrations, prayers and human chains on Thursday.

Many Rohingya men and women burst into tears while pleading to go back to their homes in Myanmar.

Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Humanity Secretary General Mohammad Jobayer said, “We observed ‘Mass Killing Day’ today as the Junta government of Myanmar carried out mass killings on this day. But we do not want to live the life of a refugee, we want to return to Arakan.”

He went on to say, “The Junta government ousted us from Arakan five times to wipe out Rohingyas. The humane Bangladesh government gave us shelter each time. We thank the Bangladesh government and the people for the help.”

At the demonstrations, they placed some demands including the recognition of Rohingyas by the Myanmar parliament, repatriation of all Rohingyas, establishment of a safe zone, return of their assets they left behind during the exodus, setting fixed date of repatriation, and not identifying Rohingyas as terrorists.

They also demanded for including the US, the United Nations, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), UK, European Union, Bangladesh and aid agencies in the repatriation process.