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Asean ‘indirectly critical’ of Suu Kyi, but she’s ‘not head of govt’

Asean ‘indirectly critical’ of Suu Kyi, but she’s ‘not head of govt’

Meanwhile, International Committee of the Red Cross has said the conditions in Myanmar are not suitable for the safe return of Rohingya Muslims.

Some refugees on the repatriation lists - which authorities say were drawn up with assistance from the UNHCR - said they don't want to go back. I escaped to Bangladesh with two others.

"The buses were ready and we readied three days of rations for those who were set to return, in the first batch but none boarded on the buses", an official of the relief commissioner's office at the scene said.

She said other refugee families living at the Jamtoli camp whose names have appeared on the Bangladesh government's repatriation list had fled to other camps, hoping to disappear amid the crowded lanes of refugees, aid workers and Bangladeshi soldiers.

Though she has been the de facto head of Myanmar's civilian government since her party swept elections in 2015, she is limited in her control of the country by a constitution written under the former military junta.

The plan sparked protests in the refugee camps with hundreds of refugees chanting "no, no, we won't go" and waving placards that said, "We will never return to Myanmar without our citizenship".

Firas Al-Khateeb also said that the United Nations is pursuing voluntary return of the refugees.

The families which would agree to go back to Rakhine would be taken to the transfer camps on the Bangladesh side first. They also prefer to go back to Rakhine through borders in Ghumdhum of Bandarban and Tombru in Rakhine.

The Myanmar government says that any violence past year was related to clearance operations against Rohingya insurgents, who launched coordinated attacks on police posts and an army base in August 2017.

"They think that allowing people back to Myanmar will help them", San said.

"From the beginning we have been saying that it will be a voluntary return".

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Vice-President Mike Pence criticised Myanmar's military for the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in a meeting with the country's leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday and said he was keen to hear that those responsible for the violence would be held accountable.

The Ministers said ensuring freedom of movement, equal rights, access to health and education services, and access to citizenship is essential for all Rohingya. "No government donor should be supporting a repatriation process that threatens Rohingyas' lives and liberty".

"Most of all, refugees tell us that they are afraid", said a statement from the International Rescue Committee, one of the nongovernmental organizations that signed the joint protest of the upcoming repatriation.

Suu Kyi said Myanmar and China, both developing nations, have had a solid tradition of friendship.

According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly children, and women, fled Myanmar and crossed into neighboring Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has revealed that most Asean leaders have rebuked Aung San Suu Kyi over the Myanmar regime's treatment of the Rohingyas, but in an indirect manner. "Nobody can claim today that the security in Rakhine is so well established that people can return safely". "That's the responsibility of the government of Myanmar", Seppo said.

Myanmar blamed Bangladesh for failing to supply returnees but said it was still ready to accept them.

A brutal military campaign drove more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar into neighbouring Bangladesh, where they now live in cramped refugee camps. Almost all have been denied citizenship since 1982, effectively rendering them stateless.

Nur Alam, 34, a Rohingya from Balukhali refugee camp, told ucanews.com that he knows of no Rohingya willing to return to Rakhine.

Terrified refugees, who arrived in Bangladesh with testimony of murder, rape and arson after they escaped a military crackdown a year ago, went into hiding as authorities insisted they would proceed despite United Nations warnings. Marked by their religion and their language - most speak a dialect of Bengali, while most of their neighbors speak Rakhine - they are easy to target.