19 September 2020

Keep creating pressure on Myanmar: PM to int'l community

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday renewed her call to the world community, including the European countries, for keeping up pressure on Myanmar so that they take their more than one million forcibly-displaced Rohingya people back.

Sheikh Hasina made the appeal during her separate meetings with Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte and President of the European Council Charles Michel at Feria de Madrid on the sidelines of the Climate Change Summit.

"Myanmar is our neighbouring friendly country, they always say they’ll take Rohingyas back…they’ve created the problem and the solution lies with them…they never said they won’t take their nationals back, but they’ve lack of sincerity… please help us in this regard," Hasina was quoted as saying while holding a meeting with her Dutch counterpart.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen briefed reporters after both the meetings.

The hilly areas of Cox's Bazar are seriously being affected environmentally for giving shelter to more than one million Rohingyas, she said adding that other risks are also growing there in addition to environmental disasters.

The Prime Minister said Rohingyas are cutting down trees in the hilly areas for making their shelters. In those areas elephants used to move around, she added.

Sheikh Hasina said the government is trying to relocate the Rohingyas to Bhashan Char temporarily after preparing good facilities for them to give them a risk-free shelter.

To attend the hearing of the ICJ next week, Hasina said, Suu Kyi will be in The Hague. "You should put some pressure on Myanmar and continue it," she added.

The Prime Minister said Bangladesh is thankful to the Netherlands for raising their voice, extending political support and providing emergency aid for more than 1.2 million Rohingyas in Bangladesh.

Holding meeting with President of the European Council Charles Michel, the Prime Minister said Bangladesh is in continuous dialogue with Myanmar. "But the problem is the Rohingyas won’t go back unless they got the assurance of having Myanmar citizenship," she said.

When the European Council president questioned about the role of China in this regard, she said China, India and Japan all agree with Bangladesh that the Rohingyas should be repatriated. "Neighbouring counties including Thailand want Rohingyas to go back to their homeland and they’re cooperating with us," she said.

Sheikh Hasina said Myanmar should cooperate with Bangladesh as Bangladesh wants a peaceful solution to the crisis, and mentioned Bangladesh’s continued cooperation with and connection at every level for a solution to the Rohingya crisis.
"Our general (army chief) will meet them (Myanmar army chief)."

The Prime Minister also said the Rohingyas have cleaned all the tress surrounding their living places. "You can help us solve the Rohingya problem," she told the European Commission President.

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