Baku-APA. The United Nations (UN)’s refugee agency has slammed Myanmar for imposing restrictions on the “basic freedoms” of its persecuted Rohingya community, urging Naypyidaw to grant citizenship to the country’s Muslim minority, APA reports quoting Press TV.
Addressing a Friday summit in Bangkok, Thailand, on ways to tackle the migrant crisis in Southeast Asia, Volker Türk, a senior official with the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said the issue could not be resolved unless the “root causes” are addressed.
“This requires full assumption of responsibility by Myanmar towards all people on its territory. Granting of citizenship is the ultimate goal,” said the UN official.
Türk also stressed the urgent need for “a legal status for all habitual residents recognizing that Myanmar is their own country,” adding that “access to identity documentation and the removal of restrictions on basic freedoms is needed to normalize and stabilize lives.”
However, the representatives of Myanmar at the meeting harshly criticized the UN and the international community for branding the country as the root cause of the migrant crisis involving Rohingya Muslims.
“This issue of illegal immigration of boat people, you cannot single out my country,” Htin Lynn, a diplomat from Myanmar, told the UN-sponsored meeting, which was attended by delegates from more than 20 nations.
Htin Lynn claimed that the international community has been misinformed about the real motives behind the exodus of Rohingya Muslims, saying that the way Myanmar’s government treats the members of the ethnic minority group falls within “domestic jurisdiction.”
Several hundred people are believed to have died at sea over the past weeks as more than 25,000 people flee persecution in Myanmar and Bangladesh by traveling on boats.