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Rohingyas must go back to their own country: PM in Washington

28 September 2022
Rohingyas must go back to their own country: PM in Washington

Screengrab from VoA interview

UNB, Dhaka :

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said Bangladesh is not in a position to take any more people from Myanmar emphasizing on repatriation of the Rohingyas who took shelter temporarily in Bangladesh to their own country.

In an interview with the Bengali service of Voice of America (VoA) aired on Tuesday, she said the Rohingyas should go back to their own country.

“It is not possible for us to take any more people,” said PM Hasina describing the burden amid Covid-19 pandemic, Russia-Ukraine war and subsequent sanctions due to which the whole world is suffering.

Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char and not a single person was repatriated over the last five years.

The prime minister described how the prolonged stray of the Rohingyas in Bangladesh destroyed forests in Cox’s Bazar area, sufferings of the locals and how the Rohingyas got involved in drug trafficking, arms smuggling, human trafficking apart from getting involved in internal conflicts inside the camps.

“They (Rohingyas) need to go back to their own country,” she said referring to Bangladesh’s repeated calls to the international community for their safe return. “Everybody needs to realize (the situation).”

PM Hasina said Bangladesh is a densely populated country and a prolonged stay of the Rohingyas in Bangladesh is like turning into a burden.

She described the sufferings of the Bengalis in 1971 and how people from Bangladesh took shelter to India amid Pakistani military’s brutality.

“We saw people’s sufferings (in 1971) in our own eyes,” PM Hasina said, sharing her conversation with her sister Sheikh Rehana before allowing the Rohingyas temporarily in Bangladesh amid brutality against the Rohingyas in Myanmar.

Bangladesh has recently sought support and necessary steps from the international community to stop the violence in Myanmar so that Myanmar cannot take advantage creating instability in the region and thus avoid the repatriation of the Rohingyas.

‘We told the diplomats that we seek your help so that Myanmar can’t take advantage creating instability in the region refraining from taking back the Rohingyas,’ acting foreign secretary Rear Admiral (Retd) Md Khurshed Alam told reporters at state guesthouse Padma after briefing the diplomats recently.

Bangladesh conveyed its deep concerns on the recent incidents of mortar shells from Myanmar falling and exploding inside Bangladesh territory, indiscriminate aerial firings, human fatalities and serious injuries, damages to the properties and livelihood of the people in the bordering areas to the ASEAN envoys.

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