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25 August, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Govt to resolve Rohingya crisis through talks, says Quader

STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka

The Sheikh Hasina government wants to resolve the “complex issue” of Rohingyas through talks as soon as possible, Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader said yesterday.

“It’s a complex issue. This crisis will have to be resolved through discussion instead of getting involved in any conflict with Myanmar,” Quader said this at an event to observe August 15. It was organized by the Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation’s (BRTC) Sramik-Karmachari League at the Institution of Diploma Engineers in the capital.

The AL leader said the government had been successful in achieving the support of the international community on different issues in recent years. Similarly, the government would receive international support in repatriating the Myanmar nationals to their place of origin in Rakhine state.

At present, Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingya refugees. Most of them entered the country after August 25, 2017.

On Thursday, despite all the preparations, no Rohingya turned up to avail of the “voluntary” repatriation offer to go back to their homeland. The no-show had prompted the authorities to suspend the repatriation process for the day.     

“We will not step into any trap of provocation. I don’t believe that there is any diplomatic failure here. We will resolve the Rohingya crisis strategically. Nowadays, it is not possible to attain something through war,” Quader said.

The AL leader, who is also the road transport and bridges minister, said Bangladesh didn’t want to do anything by force and emphasized removing the trust-deficit among Rohingyas who refused to return home.

“There is a trust-deficit among Rohingyas as the Myanmar government still cannot ensure their safety and security. That’s why they don’t want to go back to their homeland,” he added.

“The Myanmar government must own up responsibility for repressing Rohingyas. We will continue our efforts to convince the international community to create more pressure on Myanmar so that they are forced to take back their nationals. We have taken this policy,” he said. The minister also alleged that Bangladesh’s tourism sector and economy were being affected due to the long stay of Rohingyas in the country’s southern districts.

About the killing of Awami Jubo League worker by Rohingyas, Quader described it as an isolated incident. “The situation is still under our control. But it will not be wise to think that the Rohingya people are innocent as they are frustrated and have reckless mentality,” he said. Notably, Bangladesh and Myanmar had signed a repatriation deal on November 23, 2017, but there has been little progress till date.

On July 29, Bangladesh had handed a fresh list of 25,000 Rohingyas from around 6,000 families to Myanmar for verification before their repatriation to Rakhine state.

With the latest list, Bangladesh has so far handed the names of around 55,000 Rohingyas to the Myanmar authorities and around 8,000 of them have been verified. Myanmar only cleared 3,450 Rohingyas for beginning the repatriation.

On January 16, 2018, Bangladesh and Myanmar inked a document on “Physical Arrangement”, which was supposed to facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland. The “Physical Arrangement” pact stipulates that the repatriation of Rohingyas should preferably be completed within two years. The first batch of Rohingyas was scheduled to return on November 15, 2018. But it was stalled because the refugees were unwilling to go back due to lack of congenial environment in Rakhine state.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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