PM tells UK, other countries not to put pressure on Bangladesh on Rohingya issue
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called upon the United Kingdom and the countries concerned about Rohingya refugees to talk to the Myanmar government instead of pressuring Bangladesh.
She said this when British Secretary of State for International Development Affairs Andrew Mitchell called on the prime minister at her hotel suite in London on Sunday evening, reports BSS.
After the meeting, PM’s Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad briefed reporters.
Hasina told Mitchell that Bangladesh, despite being an overpopulated country, was already hosting over 28,000 registered Myanmar refugees at two camps in Cox’s Bazar.
On the influx of Myanmar refugees into Bangladesh, she said her government was providing them with food, medicine and even financial assistance before repatriating them to their own country.
In June, when there was sectarian violence between the Buddhist Rakhine and Muslims in Myanmar, the international community asked Bangladesh to open its border for the Rohingyas.
Several hundred Rohingyas tried to enter Bangladesh roughly by a dozen of boats crossing the Naff River in June, but Border Guard Bangladesh and coast guards sent them back despite repeated pressure from some foreign countries and international agencies.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in an interview with a foreign television channel last month, said that Bangladesh was already an overpopulated country so it was not possible to take in any more Rohingya.
Once again she explained the Bangladesh’s context to British Secretary of State for International Development Affairs why her government had to deny entry of Rohingyas who were coming from Myanmar following sectarian clashes in early June.
Rohingya is a centuries old minority Muslim population of Myanmar. But they remained as “stateless” for the last several decades as Myanmar’s 1982 Citizenship Act undid the status of legally granted citizenship in 1948.
Last month, Amnesty International also called on Myanmar’s parliament to amend or repeal the 1982 Citizenship Law to ensure that Rohingyas were no longer stateless.
“Under international human rights law and standards, no one may be left or rendered stateless. For too long Myanmar’s human rights record has been marred by the continued denial of citizenship for Rohingyas and a host of discriminatory practices against them,” said Benjamin Zawacki, Amnesty International’s Myanmar researcher.
Bangladesh first allowed Rohingyas as Refugee in 1978 when there was influx.
And than some 2,50,877 Rohingyas took shelter as registered refugees in dozens of camps across Cox’s Bazar district. After this influx, Bangladesh could send back 2,36,599 refugees till 2005, officials statistics show.
Only 19,000 Rohingyas, including those born here, were left at two refugee camps following the last repatriation in 2005.
But over the years the number of registered refugees in the two camps — one at Nayapara of Teknaf and another at Kutupalang of Ukhia upazila — has risen to 29,325.
Courtesy of The Daily Star