Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Indonesia mounts Rohingya pressure, urges repatriation

Indonesia mounts Rohingya pressure, urges repatriation

Indonesia mounts Rohingya pressure, urges repatriation

With fresh pressure on Myanmar over the alleged genocide that had driven hundreds of thousands of Rohingya minorities out of the country, Indonesia urged the international community to stop “pointing fingers” at the Buddhist-majority country and build trust through dialogue instead.

Myanmar was faced last week with renewed pressure internationally over a 2017 military crackdown on the Rohingya, which UN investigators insisted was carried out with “genocidal intent”.

The pressure came after Gambia moved to hold Myanmar accountable for the refugee crisis, saying they would bring the case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

The UN General Assembly adopted on Thursday a resolution on the human rights situation for Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar, filed by the United Arab Emirates and Finland on behalf of the OIC and the EU. It was followed by an announcement that the International Criminal Court (ICC) had approved a prosecution request to investigate crimes against humanity, which was rejected by Myanmar.

Then over the weekend, the OIC condemned the “inhumane” situation of the minority and urged Myanmar to put an end to the violence.

The moves were partly a result of efforts devised by the OIC contact group on Myanmar, which had focused on drafting strategies to deal with the Rohingya refugee crisis, said Kamapradipta Isnomo, Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ International Organisations for Developing Countries director.

“There is a sense of solidarity with the Rohingya refugees to pressure Myanmar, but Indonesia was the only OIC member that took a different approach – we have to build trust and confidence in Myanmar so that they want to open up to us,” Kamapradipta told the Jakarta Post on Monday.

“Pointing fingers isn’t going to work . . . but the overwhelming majority of the OIC is intent on pressuring Myanmar through the ICJ.”

Myanmar’s permanent representative to the UN said the resolution “grossly mischaracterised” the complex issues in Rakhine state that involved cross-border migration, poverty, lack of rule of law and security.

Separately, the chairman of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, Marzuki Darusman, said Indonesia played a significant role in establishing a bridge between Myanmar, Southeast Asia and the international community so that everyone was able to get a full picture of the conflict.

“Indonesia should talk to Vietnam and reach a common understanding on the issue, so that Vietnam may persuade other CMLV [Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam] countries [on how] to communicate with the international community,” he said.

However, even in spite of its continued support for Myanmar, Indonesia’s efforts bilaterally and regionally have yet to succeed in helping along the repatriation push – Rohingya refugees are still reluctant to return to a country that denies it the right to citizenship.

Speaking to journalists after a meeting with Vice President Ma’ruf Amin, Myanmar’s ambassador to Indonesia Ei Ei Khin Aye said her country was committed to ensuring security in the repatriation process but added that “prejudice would delay” the effort and make the situation more difficult for her government.

The repatriation, she said, would depend on understanding from both sides. She insists it was still very difficult for her government to meet the Rohingya’s demands for citizenship.



  • Investors’ $14.4M projects approved

    New investments from local and foreign sources continue to pour into Cambodia despite the Covid-19 pandemic remaining a lingering threat to regional and global economies. This comes as the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract between one and 2.9 per cent this

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Rubber exports stretch 17%

    Cambodia exported 97,175 tonnes of natural rubber in the first five months of this year, surging 17 per cent compared to the same period last year as the Covid-19 pandemic stretches on, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries official Khuong Phalla told The Post on Thursday. Phalla,

  • ASEM supports Kingdom’s proposal to postpone meeting amid Covid

    The 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM13) scheduled to be held in Cambodia in November has been postponed until mid-2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation press statement released on Saturday said. The decision was made during a two-day meeting

  • Coffee maker roasted for producing fake product

    The Ministry of Interior’s Counter Counterfeit Committee will send a suspect to court on Monday after she allegedly roasted coffee mixed with soybeans and other ingredients, creating a product which could pose a high risk to consumers’ health. On the afternoon of July 2, the

  • Cash handout programme 80% complete

    Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation Vong Soth confirmed on Thursday that the implementation of the Cash Transfer Programme For Poor and Vulnerable Households During Covid-19 had been implemented for more than 80% of the over 560,000 families. The programme was introduced one week ago.

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Where is Cambodia’s exit strategy that can save the economy?

    With the prospect of being slammed by a double whammy, the government is working on an economic recovery plan to deliver it from Covid-19 and the EU’s partial withdrawal of the Everything But Arms scheme in the next two to three years Cambodia is

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Kingdom, UN discuss rights

    A year after Cambodia received 198 recommendations from UN member countries, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR-Cambodia) met with the Cambodia Human Rights Committee (CHRC) to discuss following-up on the Kingdom’s third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and