27 May 2018
Ministry Office of the State Counsellor issued a statement on Sunday. It said the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the Republic of Bangladesh have signed the Arrangement on Return of Displaced Persons from Rakhine State on 23 November 2017. One of the provisions of the agreement was that action will not be taken against the returnees except for the cases that involved terrorist activities.
In accordance with the agreement, arrangements have been made to receive the returnees at Nga Khu Ya and Taung Pyo Latwe reception centres. After verification at the reception centres, the returnees are to be housed at the transit camp in Hla Phoe Khaung temporarily.
To implement the agreement, the delegation led by Union Minister Dr. Win Myat Aye visited Cox’s Bazaar in April 2018. Subsequently, Myanmar leader of the Joint Working Group, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, U Myint Thu visited Dhaka on 17 May 2018. Despite these efforts, the procedures for systematic repatriation are still not yet widely known by the displaced persons. As a result, the displaced persons who no longer find it tenable to continue their stay in the camps in Cox’s Bazaar began returning to Rakhine State of their own volition and under their own arrangements.
These returnees were arrested under the existing laws and some were given prison sentences.
In accordance with the bilateral agreement, the returnees should be properly processed, verified and be accepted without any action being taken against them. In order to implement this process, the President has pardoned 58 persons. These people were released from prison and sent to the Nga Khu Ya Reception Camp on 26 May 2018. After the necessary verification, they will be transferred to the Transit Camp in Hla Phoe Khaung.
This arrangement concerns only those who have not been involved in terrorism. Effective action will be taken against those implicated in terrorist acts in accordance with law.