Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on February 19, in an interview with the Dubai-based Khaleej Times, expressed her dismay that Myanmar had failed to create a condition conducive to the Rohingya repatriation. The same day Malaysia's government echoed her statement, with its foreign minister maintaining that his country wanted the perpetrators of the ethnic cleansing operation to be tried at the International Criminal Court.
While Myanmar's government is showing indifference to the fact that nearly a million of its “unwanted” nationals are currently sheltered in Bangladesh, as noted by the prime minister, it is actively pushing to industrialise the Rakhine State, from where the Rohingyas were expelled, by arranging an investment fair. The country is pitching to potential investors its farmland and fishing grounds, stolen from the Rohingyas who had until the exodus lived there for generations.
The media reported earlier how the houses and farmland of the Rohingyas were given to families belonging to the majority Buddhist community. Nothing mentioned above suggests any semblance of willingness on part of the Myanmar authorities to take back the Rohingyas.
These clearly indicate an attempt to whitewash the history of the Rakhine. What's more, the fact that foreign businesses and aid agencies are willing to get involved in Rakhine's new public relations effort is also disturbing. We call on the global human rights bodies and organisation to create a black-list of companies that are willing to invest in Rakhine despite the fact that an apartheid-like situation prevails in the state.
Western nations often cite their limited leverage to influence the Myanmar authorities. What we begin to see now is that far from pressuring the country, many western entities are willing to cash in on the crisis.