MELBOURNE, July 10 (Bernama) — Few ethnic groups would have as strong a claim to Australian assistance than the oppressed Rohingya minority of Myanmar, but the solution is not to resettle them in Australia, said Foreign Minister Bob Carr.
Senator Carr said the Rohingya — about 800,000 stateless Muslim settlers originally from Bangladesh — were by any test enormously oppressed, suffering routine discrimination and violence.
“If you look at all the people suffering in our region, there would be few who’d have a stronger claim than the Rohingya to our assistance,” he told Sky News.
Senator Carr said Australia provided significant aid to the Rohingya people, but they would not be resettled in Australia.
“No, we rule that out. We say that in line with the United Nations High Commission on Refugee priorities, we need a durable solution within Myanmar. We haven’t got the capacity to take asylum seekers from Myanmar,” he said.
Senator Carr said the focus would be on encouraging the Myanmar government to achieve a durable political solution.
“Reconciliation within these countries, encouraged by Australia, sensible Australian aid programmes where it can make a difference, this is an alternative to the fantasy that somehow we can take the pressure off the world’s trouble spots simply by resettling in Australia,” he said.