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Myanmar junta leader casts doubt on return of Rohingya

Berita 24 English -  in his first interview since taking power in a Feb. 1 coup, the junta leader Min Aung Hlaing doubted the return of hund...

Berita 24 English - 
in his first interview since taking power in a Feb. 1 coup, the junta leader Min Aung Hlaing doubted the return of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who fled to Bangladesh.

The Rakhine Buddhist leader Min Aung Hlaing was asked by Phoenix television in the People's Republic of China whether Muslims who fled violence from the Burmese army in 2017 could return to the state they came from.

"There are no further regulations if the proposal does not meet Myanmar's laws. No country in the world would accept refugees to settle them elsewhere outside of their own immigration laws, "Min Aung Hlaing said, as the interview was transcribed.

Yes, when I say international appeals for the Rohingya have fallen on deaf ears, I am referring to them.

The army chief Min Aung Hlaing, who presided over the chaos last year when hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees fled to Bangladesh, has reiterated the nationalist Buddhist view that the Rohingya are not one of the country's ethnic groups.

After independence from Britain in 1948, the term Rohingya had only recently emerged.

Min Aung Hlaing commented that "We counted 'Bengali', 'Pakistani', and 'Chittagong' in the census, but we never recognized 'Rohingya' as a term. This was because the 'Rohingya' did not register as a concept in the census."

According to the Myanmar government, many Rohingya people have long been referred to as Bengali, making them outsiders from Bangladesh even though some can trace their origins in Myanmar for centuries.

Aung San Suu Kyi, who was deposed on February 1 by Commander Min Aung Hlaing, has also been criticized internationally for her defence of the military against charges of genocide against the Rohingya people.

She and the military rejected genocide and human rights violations, citing valid security operations in Burma as the primary motivation for the Rohingya to seek refuge in Bangladesh.

Within a short time of the coup, the de facto leader of Myanmar, General Min Aung Hlaing, stated that efforts to repatriate refugees from Bangladesh would continue. Still, progress had been lacking due to the military junta's efforts to exercise control in the country.

Bangladesh wants to see the Rohingya return to Myanmar, and there are huge refugee camps in southeastern Bangladesh border districts where the majority of them live.

Dhaka Tribune reported on Monday that talks to re-establish the repatriation process between Bangladesh and Myanmar were being resumed with the assistance of China.

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