World News

Term 'Rohingya' missing from Suu Kyi's letter to Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina

Myanmar had urged the UN  to avoid using the term “Rohingya” and instead address them as ‘Muslim community in Rakhine state.’

Published: 15th January 2017 10:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th January 2017 10:38 AM   |  A+A-


DHAKA: In a letter to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi has conveyed that Naypyidaw wants to address the Rohingya issue and other concerns in a spirit of good neighbourliness, trust and mutual understanding.

However, the letter did not use the term ‘Rohingya’, reports the Daily Star.

The letter was handed over to the Prime Minister on Wednesday by Myanmar's State Minister for Foreign Affairs U Kyaw Tin, who visited Dhaka recently as a special envoy.

“The special envoy also presented to the Prime Minister the state counsellor's letter expressing her confidence that Myanmar and Bangladesh would be able to address the issues of mutual concern in a spirit of good neighbourliness, trust and mutual understanding between the two countries,” according to a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar.

The statement said that Myanmar and Bangladesh “have agreed to start consultations for verification and repatriation of those who are proved to have fled from Myanmar following the 9 October attacks against police outposts.”

During the visit, U Kyaw Tin held meetings with Prime Minister Hasina, Foreign Minister A.H. Mahmood Ali and Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque.

Earlier, Myanmar had urged the UN special rapporteur on human rights as well as the international community to avoid using the term “Rohingya” and instead address them as ‘Muslim community in Rakhine state.’

The country’s majority Buddhists refuse to use the term Rohingya to refer to members of the group, whom they consider to be “Bengalis,” illegal migrants from neighboring Bangladesh, though many have lived in Myanmar for generations. 

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