Bangladesh, Myanmar consider repatriation of Rohingya refugees

Rohingya Muslim refugees walk through Balukhali refugee camp on Monday. The UN says more than 14,100 children are at risk of dying from malnutrition in wretched camps where half a million mainly Rohingya refugees depend entirely on charities for survival. (AFP)
Updated 03 October 2017

Bangladesh, Myanmar consider repatriation of Rohingya refugees

DHAKA: Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed to form a joint panel for the repatriation of Rohingya refugees.
The decision came in a meeting in Dhaka between Bangladeshi Foreign Minister A. H. Mahmud Ali and Myanmar’s Minister for the Office of the State Counsellor Kyaw Tint Swe.
“Myanmar has proposed taking back Rohingya refugees. We’ve agreed on forming a joint working group to oversee the repatriation process,” Ali said after the meeting.
More than half a million Rohingya Muslim refugees have fled to Bangladesh since Aug. 25, amid atrocities committed by the Myanmar Army.
During the meeting, Bangladesh proposed a treaty with Myanmar to ensure the smooth repatriation of Rohingya refugees.
The draft of the treaty was handed to the Myanmar delegation. The date for launching the joint working group is yet to be announced.
Asif Munir, a Dhaka-based migration expert, said: “In any joint working group or bilateral treaty, there should be a provision for inclusion of a neutral third party like an international observer body, so in case of any disagreements at the negotiation table they can mitigate the situation.”
He added: “The situation in (Myanmar’s) Rakhine state will be one of the prime concerns for this joint working group. Repatriation depends on this. We have to make sure there’s a peaceful environment for Rohingya in Rakhine.
“The panel members need to visit Rakhine to see whether peace prevails there. Similarly, they’ll also pay a visit to refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar to see how Bangladesh is delivering humanitarian services to the Rohingya.”
Myanmar’s Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Minister Dr. Win Myat Aye told the Myanmar Times: “We are considering the repatriation of thousands of Muslim refugees as fast as possible based on the 1993 Myanmar-Bangladesh agreement.”
Under that deal, “all those carrying Myanmar identity cards,” those able to present “other documents issued by relevant Myanmar authorities,” all those “able to furnish evidence of their residence in Myanmar,” and “all those willing to return to Myanmar” will be eligible to do so.


World’s oldest man dies in Japan at 112

Updated 25 February 2020

World’s oldest man dies in Japan at 112

  • Chitetsu Watanabe, who was born on March 5, 1907 in Niigata, north of Tokyo, died on Sunday at his nursing home
  • The news came less than two weeks after Watanabe was officially recognized by Guinness World Records

TOKYO: A Japanese man recently named the world’s oldest living male has died aged 112, a local official said Tuesday.

Chitetsu Watanabe, who was born on March 5, 1907 in Niigata, north of Tokyo, died on Sunday at his nursing home in the same prefecture, the official said.

The news came less than two weeks after he was officially recognized by Guinness World Records.

Watanabe, who had five children, said the secret to longevity was to “not get angry and keep a smile on your face.”

He admitted a penchant for sweets such as custard pudding and ice cream.

The oldest man in Japan is now Issaku Tomoe, who is 110 years old, according to Jiji Press, although it was not clear if Tomoe holds the title globally.

The oldest living person is also Japanese, Kane Tanaka, a 117-year-old woman.

Japan has one of the world’s highest life expectancies and has been home to several people recognized as among the oldest humans to have ever lived.

They include Jiroemon Kimura, the longest-living man on record, who died soon after his 116th birthday in June 2013.

The oldest verified person — Jeanne Louise Calment of France — died in 1997 at the age of 122, according to Guinness.