Headlines from NPR Online for Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Myanmar And Bangladesh Agree To 2-Year Timeframe For Rohingya Return
In less than half a year, more than 655,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar into neighboring Bangladesh, telling horrifying stories of systematic rape, murder and arson by Myanmar’s military. The “clearance operations” — which the United Nations, the U.S. and others have called “ethnic cleansing” — appear to have been aimed at removing members of the Muslim minority from the country.
Now, though, both Myanmar and Bangladesh have arranged for their return — despite concerns voiced by some international aid groups.
In an agreement Tuesday, the two countries offered details on how they expect to carry out a repatriation deal inked in November. They laid out a two-year timeframe for the return of the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees now in Bangladesh.
“We have proposed to repatriate 15,000 Rohingyas every week but they [Myanmar] did not agree to it,” Bangladesh Ambassador to Myanmar Sufiur Rahman said Tuesday, according to the Dhaka Tribune. “They [Myanmar] have taken some preparations for the Rohingyas. They have agreed to take back 300 Rohingyas per day. Some 1,500 Rohingyas will be sent back in a week.”
“We are planning ahead to be able accept the returnees from next week and we are sure that this will be done on time,” said Win Myat Aye, Myanmar’s minister of social welfare, relief and resettlement, according to The Associated Press.
“Nine out of 10 Rohingya that I know in these camps [in Bangladesh] will say they’d rather stay in Bangladesh for one simple reason — and that reason is safety,” Sullivan explained. “They know they won’t be killed there.”
Authorities in Myanmar continue to deny the manifold stories of rape and mass killing that have emerged since their crackdown began in August as a retaliation for attacks by Rohingya insurgents. Journalists have been barred from Rakhine state, where most of the counterinsurgency “clearance operations” have taken place.
Readings from the Gospel of Matthew for Wednesday, January 17, 2018
We don’t forget the Rohingya people group in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Two-thirds of a million people have had their lives traumatized by violence and hatred. As we pray, let’s pray God’s will for this situation. May God’s love prevail in this area of our world.
Matthew 22.36-40 – “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Prayers for Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Dear God, may your love prevail with Rohingya people group in Myanmar and Bangladesh.