See More on Facebook

Politics

Bangladesh urged to speedily repatriate those expressing wish to return, ICC doesn’t have jurisdiction over Myanmar: Union Minister Kyaw Tint Swe

The issue in Rakhine is one of the complex challenges faced by Myanmar on its path towards democracy.


Written by

Updated: October 2, 2019

Union Minister Kyaw Tint Swe of State Counsellor Office called on Bangladesh to faithfully implement the bilateral agreement, which is the only feasible way to resolve the issue of the displaced persons and allow the speedy repatriation of those who have long expressed their desire to return, responding that ICC doesn’t have jurisdiction over Myanmar.

The remarks came from Union Minister Kyaw Tint Swe’s statement to the high-level General Debate on the fifth day of the74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly held on 28 September 2019 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

“We call on Bangladesh to faithfully implement the bilateral agreement, which is the only feasible way to resolve the issue of the displaced persons. We also call on Bangladesh to allow the speedy repatriation of those who have long expressed their desire to return, including some 400 people of Hindu faith. Grand standing, introducing new elements, putting forward new conditionalities will be a futile exercise,” said Union Minister Kyaw Tint Swe.

“Our democratic transition is still young and as yet incomplete. As we struggle to step out from poverty’s shadow, while striving for inclusive development and peace, we must overcome a range of challenges, from imperfect Constitution to continued conflicts. The situation in Rakhine State, an issue that has deep and historical roots, counts amongst these challenges,” said Union Minister Kyaw Tint Swe.

The government has been striving through a holistic approach for long term stability, security and sustainable development in the State. Our priority now is to expedite repatriation and to create a more conducive environment for verified returnees, Union Minister Kyaw Tint Swe added.
Union Minister Kyaw Tint Swe continued to say, “We cannot help but conclude that these were prompted more by hostility towards the democratically elected government and the peace loving people of Myanmar than by a genuine desire to resolve the challenges of Rakhine State. Therefore, we also reject the establishment of the new Investigation Mechanism (IIM) set up to bring Myanmar to tribunals to which we object strongly. These include the International Criminal Court (ICC). Our position on the ICC is abundantly clear. The ICC does not have jurisdiction over Myanmar.”
The displaced persons now in Cox’s Bazar who had been resident in Rakhine State have different legal status. We are willing to repatriate them in accordance with the bilateral agreement signed between Myanmar and Bangladesh. The agreement calls for the issuance of identity cards to the returnees. Those who qualify for citizenship under our Citizenship Law will be issued with citizenship cards. The rest will be issued with National Verification Cards (NVC). NVCs are similar to the “green card” much sought after by immigrants in the United States, said Union Minister Kyaw Tint Swe in his statement.

“Myanmar strongly holds the view that issues between neighbours can and must be resolved bilaterally in an amicable and friendly manner. The current issue of displaced persons in Cox’s Bazar can and must be resolved bilaterally, particularly as Myanmar and Bangladesh have signed a bilateral agreement to address this issue since November 2017. There have been persistent calls to put pressure on Myanmar. There is also a call to set up a “Safe Zone” inside Myanmar. Such a demand is neither warranted, nor, workable,” said Union Minister Kyaw Tint Swe.

On 4 July 2019, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court requested a pre-trial chamber to authorise an investigation into Rakhine-allegations. Independent scholars have already identified the request as problematic in that: it excludes alleged crimes committed by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) with deliberate omission of the undisputed fact that their actions precipitated the displacement; that she relies heavily on human rights reports that contain factual errors with regard to both international and Myanmar law; and that her request mischaracterizes the criminal justice system of Myanmar. This critique is all the more serious when we consider that Myanmar is not a party to the Statute of the International Criminal Court, said Union Minister Kyaw Tin Swe.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Eleven Media Group
About the Author: Eleven Media Group was established in June, 2000 in Myanmar and was awarded the 2011 press freedom prize by Reporters without Borders.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Politics

‘History will take note of those who ridiculed removal of Article 370’: PM Modi in Maharashtra

PM Modi also expressed confidence that the BJP will break all victory records in the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly elections. Prime Minister on Thursday once again lashed out at the opposition saying that history will take note of those who mocked the abrogation of Article 370, that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. “Whenever Article 370 will be discussed in history, — the decision that was taken in the interest of the country — the people who opposed and ridiculed will be remembered,” PM Modi said while addressing a poll rally in Maharashtra’s Parli. He said the next week’s state Assembly elections were a battle between BJP’s “karyashakti” (power of development) and opposition’s “swarth shakti” (selfishness). Further targeting the Congress and NCP leaders, he wondered if “frustrated and dejected” people could do anything good for people. “A Congress


By The Statesman
October 18, 2019

Politics

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam unveils measures to ease housing crunch

Lam was forced to deliver speech via video after protests. Embattled Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced measures aimed at easing a housing shortage on Wednesday (Oct 16) as she battles to restore confidence in her administration and address widespread discontent after four months of mostly violent anti-government protests. Mrs Lam was forced to deliver her speech via video after her annual policy address in the Legislative Council was aborted when some lawmakers repeatedly jeered and shouted at her as she began speaking. After aborting her speech in the chamber tw


By The Straits Times
October 17, 2019

Politics

Personal exchanges cement Sino-US ties, envoy says

Nicholas Platt accompanied US President Richard Nixon on his historic Beijing trip. Over the past four decades the China-US relationship has become too complicated to decouple, and many on both sides are determined to sustain it, a US diplomat and China expert told China Daily in a recent interview. Using an iceberg as an analogy, Nicholas Platt, who accompanied US president Richard Nixon on his historic trip to Beijing in 1972, said in an exclusive interview on Oct 3 that private, nonstate links between China and the United States have grown exponentially in past decades. They are kept intact below the surface despite the “jagged piece of ice” and “sharp edges” seen above the waterline. “There may be people who want to decouple us, but there are a lot of people who don’t, or people who’ve had relationships between” the two countries-organizations,


By China Daily
October 16, 2019

Politics

Thousands of pro-democracy protesters throng Hong Kong’s Chater Garden

The protests have escalated in violence and crackdowns in recent months. Tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters gathered at Hong Kong’s Chater Garden in Central district near government headquarters on Monday evening (Oct 14) for the first approved rally since a face mask ban came into effect on Oct 5. The rally, which came a day after an improvised explosive device was detonated during unrest,  was called in support of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, a proposed US legislation aimed at reviewing the territory’s special trading status and potentially sanctioning some Chinese officials. Protesters urged


By The Straits Times
October 15, 2019

Politics

Hong Kong police arrest protesters after mall rallies and skirmishes across the city

Police have stepped up campaigns across the city as protests reaches fifth month. Hong Kong police arrested protesters in multiple districts on Sunday (Oct 13) after they ignored  warnings to disperse in another weekend of anti-government demonstrations that began with peaceful rallies at shopping malls before turning more chaotic as protesters trashed shops, blocked roads and faced off with police in skirmishes. Numerous arrests were made in at least four districts where gatherings not approved by the police were held. Police said they arrested two people after a riot police officer was slashed on the neck while dispersing protesters outside Kwun Tong MTR station. The injured officer was sent to hospital for medical treatment. Tear gas and pepper spray were also deployed against protesters, though Sunday’s protests – 


By The Straits Times
October 14, 2019

Politics

Wish I could follow President Xi’s example and put 500 corrupt people in Pakistan in jail: Imran Khan

Speaking in Beijing, Pakistan’s Prime Minister said that one thing he had learned from China was how the country’s leadership tackled corruption. Prime Minister Imran Khan, who arrived in China on Tuesday morning, while addressing an event in Beijing said that he wished he could follow the example of Chinese President Xi Jinping and send 500 corrupt individuals in Pakistan to jail. Speaking at the China Council for Promotion of International Trade, the premier said that one thing he had learned from China was how the country’s leadership tackled corruption. “One of President Xi Jinping’s biggest crusade has been against corruption,” he said, adding that he had heard that some 400 “ministerial-level people” had been convicted on charges of corruption and put behind jail in the last five years in China. Imran was referring to Xi’s ferocious anti-cor


By Dawn
October 9, 2019