Moral diplomacy could be an option to create pressure on Myanmar- Professor A Awal
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“States and citizens of the world must engage to put such pressure on Myanmar and its supporters,” Prof Mohammad A Auwal of Department of Communication Studies, California State has expressed his idea to UNB this way.
Prof Auwal, also a senior research fellow of Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) who visited Rohingya camps recently, emphased on communicating with and supporting the locals and international human rights organizations so that Rohingya sufferings reach to an acceptable limit.
He recommended organizing high-profile interfaith trips to Myanmar to open opportunities for change through dialogue saying moral diplomacy with a moral consciousness is a potentially effective approach to the conflict.
Acting BEI President M Humayun Kabir said Bangladesh can do more to reach out to Myanmar society and try to influence people at policy level but noted that Myanmar’s political structure is very difficult one.
“But we can work and can make a serious effort,” he said adding that not Myanmar only, Bangladesh can intensify its efforts to reach out globally.
The former Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA said this (Rohingya) is an issue which has a number dimensions, humanitarian, rights and justice and from Bangladesh’s perspective it has a geopolitical challenge also.
“This is a test case for our diplomacy. We need to solve this problem,” Mr. Kabir said adding that they also need to think of what will happen if it does not get resolved.
Prof Auwal also said, pressure from the international community on Myanmar and its supporters might be a viable option.
He said big powers have aligned their policies with Myanmar out of their political or economic interests. Given the geopolitical equations, Prof Auwal said, the best or reasonable option for Bangladesh is to negotiate bilaterally.
“Moral diplomacy, as I conceive it, has three components, conventional diplomacy, public or citizen diplomacy and focus on soft power and nonviolence approach. Everyone can be a moral diplomat,” he said adding that moral diplomacy is a strategic communicative response.
Prof Auwal said moral diplomacy has a role for everyone including the state officials and citizens who care about human rights, human dignity, liberty, and justice.
“In this world society, we can reach out to almost anyone. We must have faith in the innate human goodness. We can expose the character of the criminals or immoral powers,” he mentioned in his paper presented here recently.
Earlier, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said the Rohingya issue will remain a priority one for the government. “I think this problem won’t be solved easily. So, we’ve to overcome many hurdles.” Emphasizing the importance of stability and development in the country and beyond, the Foreign Minister said
“The international community has a big responsibility for their (Rohingyas) repatriation and rehabilitation,”
he said adding that the interest of Myanmar, India, Thailand and China, not only Bangladesh, might be affected if the Rohingya crisis remains unresolved.
He hoped that the international community would continue to play a constructive role in resolving the Rohingya crisis which lies in their safe, sustainable and dignified return to Myanmar.The international community appreciated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s humanitarian support to over 1.1 million Rohingyas from Myanmar.