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Statement by Dr. Nagendra Singh, M.P on the Rohingyas issue at 137th IPU Assembly, St. Petersburg on October 15, 2017

Mr. Chairman and distinguished delegates,

India remains deeply concerned at the recent spate of violence in Rakhine State of Myanmar that resulted in the outflow of a large number of people from the State, many of whom have sought shelter in neighbouring Bangladesh. It is imperative that violence is ended and normalcy in the State is restored expeditiously through a solution based on respect for peace, communal harmony, justice, dignity and democratic values. We urge that the situation in Rakhine State be handled with restraint, focusing on the welfare of the civilian population.

The role being played by Bangladesh in extending humanitarian assistance to such a large influx of people from Rakhine State is commendable and deserves both recognition and support by the international community. As a neighbour, friend and partner of Bangladesh, India has responded promptly to support the Government of Bangladesh in meeting the relief requirements by supporting 72,000 families to meet their essential needs in the relief camps.

We are convinced that the only lasting solution to the situation in the Rakhine State is the socio-economic and infrastructure development in the State and a resolution of underlying issues of citizenship and residence in line with the recommendations of the Kofi Annan Commission. In this regard, we must welcome the commitment made by the Government of Myanmar to implement the recommendations and their categorical assurance that it will take back people who had fled to Bangladesh from Rakhine State, on the basis of the principles agreed upon between Bangladesh and Myanmar in 1993. Regarding infrastructure development, India has already proposed to provide assistance for projects to be undertaken in conjunction with the Government of Myanmar.

The issue should not be looked at through the prism of ethnicity or religion. We support restoration of normalcy and return to their homeland of all displaced people. We will continue to offer assistance to both Bangladesh and Myanmar in meeting the needs of the displaced persons and restoring normalcy to Rakhine State.

 

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