OP-ED | OPINION: Straits Times’ EDITORIAL – Need to preserve Asean’s credibility

There is a glimmer of hope that Myanmar may be prepared to take a measure of responsibility for the Rohingya.

This hapless group numbers about a million, most of whom now live outside its borders because of this year’s massive state-backed violence.

After months of quiet negotiations, a tentative agreement between Myanmar and Bangladesh, which hosts some 600,000 of the refugees, was signed in Naypyitaw last month.

Details of the agreement are sketchy, but what little is available does not portend a mass repatriation since the agreement appears to follow a 1992 formula that required the refugees to produce residence papers. Since these papers were denied to most of them in the first place -Myanmar even declines to use the term Rohingya, calling them “Bengalis” instead – no more than a few thousand, if at all, are likely to go back.

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