Stronger Response To Rohingya Crisis – PM Hasina Appeals

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STUTI AICH

There has been mounting international rage over the Rohingya crisis, ever since this inhuman genocide has begun, and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been very vocal in voicing her displeasure and anger over the treatment being meted out to the Rohingya Muslims.

Earlier in February, Prime Minister Hasina had stated that Bangladesh was facing enormous socioeconomic and demographic pressure due to the presence of a huge number of Rohingya refugees.

“The presence of a large number of forcibly evicted Rohingya people in Cox’s Bazar is creating a massive socioeconomic, environmental and demographic pressure on Bangladesh,” she said when newly–appointed Swedish Ambassador to Dhaka Charlotta Schlyter paid a courtesy call at her office in the parliament.

Swedish Ambassador to Dhaka Charlotta Schlyter meeting with prime minister Hasina. © Twitter

The Prime Minister continues to maintain her stand in London, said that more international pressure was needed on Myanmar to take back Rohingya refugees.

“The international community needs to put more pressure on Myanmar so that they take back their own people and ensure their security,” Hasina told an audience in London.

“Myanmar says they are ready to take back the Rohingyas, but they are not taking the initiative.” she said.

According to UN officials nearly 700,000 Rohingya have migrated to Bangladesh from Myanmar’s Rakhine state to escape a military crackdown since last August, amid reports of murder, rape and arson by Myanmar troops and Buddhist vigilantes.

Myanmar however, has been in a denial mode, asserting that it has been waging a legitimate counter–insurgency operation.

Prime Minister Hasina alleged that Bangladesh had submitted the names of 8,000 Rohingya families for repatriation to Myanmar, but that Myanmar had so far refused to take them back.

She disputed an assertion by Myanmar that it had repatriated five members of a Rohingya family from Bangladesh, describing them as having been living in the no man’s land between the two countries.

 

Prime Minister Hasina has confirmed a plan to move 100,000 Rohingya refugees to an uninhabited low–lying island in the Bay of Bengal, dismissing the fears of floods, Aid agencies, are fearful of the relocation plan and believe it would expose Rohingya refugees to cyclones, floods and human traffickers

 

Burma and  Bangladesh had signed an accord in November last year, over terms for the return of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who had migrated to Bangladesh, amidst concern that Burma’s powerful army could prove obstructive. Burma’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Bangladesh foreign minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali signed the Accord after a meeting in Naypyitaw.

Burma is seeking to ease international pressure by striking an initial agreement on returns, while Dhaka wants to ensure overstretched refugee camps that have mushroomed in the Cox’s Bazar region don’t become permanent.

But‌ in–spite of the agreement there has been no significant progress and, with the advent of the monsoons this year, things could take a drearier twist. The low lying regions of Bangladesh are prone to massive flooding and it could spell danger for the refugees taking shelter there.

Although Prime Minister Hasina has confirmed a plan to move 100,000 Rohingya refugees to an uninhabited low–lying island in the Bay of Bengal, dismissing the fears of floods, Aid agencies, are fearful of the relocation plan and believe it would expose Rohingya refugees to cyclones, floods and human traffickers.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on April 9, 2018, had urged India too, to put more pressure on Myanmar to take back the over one million Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh.

“We want India to put more pressure on Myanmar,” she said during a meeting with visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Keshav Gokhale at her Sangsad Bhavan office.

She also mentioned that Bangladesh was in touch with five neighboring countries, including India, China and Thailand, over the settling of the Rohingya issue. ■

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