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28 November, 2019 08:21:29 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 28 November, 2019 05:54:18 PM

Solution to Rohingya crisis lies on Myanmar: Momen

Army chief’s upcoming visit
Diplomatic Correspondent, Dhaka
Solution to Rohingya crisis lies on Myanmar: Momen

Foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen yesterday said that the Bangladesh Army chief’s visit to Myanmar next month will help pave the path for Rohingya repatriation. He said that that Army chief General Aziz Ahmed’s visit would “open another line of negotiation for the repatriation” of Rohingya refugees to their homeland.

The minister was responding to a query by a journalist at State Guest House Padma in the capital. The minister was asked whether the Army chief’s Myanmar visit would benefit Bangladesh even as the international community had accused the Myanmar army of violating human rights.

“Myanmar is not our enemy country. And you know that the Myanmar army plays a vital role there. Given the situation, a visit by our Army chief will be good for us. It will introduce another line of negotiation for the repatriation. We welcome it,” Momen said.

“We don’t want to wage war. We believe all problems can be resolved through talks,” he asserted. The foreign minister said: “Myanmar has created the crisis and its solution will depend on them. We are continuing our efforts through various means so that these 1.1 million refugees can return to their homes and live decent lives.”

On Myanmar's ambiguous stand over Rohingya repatriation, the minister said: “Perhaps, Myanmar has been following the Goebblesian doctrine of repeating misinformation to create the illusion of truth.” “Recently, Myanmar has been resorting to gimmicks to win over people’s confidence. They claim to have everything prepared for repatriation but say Bangladesh is not allowing the Rohingyas to return. This is a lie,” he added.

“Their arguments seem ludicrous. As soon as they inform us about the repatriation, we will send the Rohingyas back,” he asserted. Momen said: “We are hopeful that the repatriation process will begin soon. We are putting all kinds of pressure on Myanmar.”  

Asked whether the relocation of Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char had ceased, the foreign minister said,:“Certainly not. It is a temporary arrangement. There are many people here and we are concerned about landslides killing people. If anyone dies here, then you journalists will blame us.”

“This is why we proposed to shift around one lakh people to Bhasan Char. We will not take them there under pressure. It is for their welfare and to avert risks. If they want to go, that is good. The relocation process is still ongoing,” he continued. Responding to another query, the minister spoke about the environmental impact of the Rohingyas. “We have lost 6,800 acres of woodlands, a habitat for wild elephants, because of them,” he said.

“The surrounding trees have also been destroyed. The refugees have been felling trees for fuel to make food for over 1.1 million people. It is a disaster,” he added. The minister mentioned that the Bangladesh government would be planting one crore saplings across the country to mark Mujib Year in 2020. The foreign minister also announced that voluntary” manner. It said continued rally of fabricated information, misrepresentation of facts, unsubstantiated claims, and unwarranted accusations to unjustifiably shift the onus of the Rohingya crisis on Bangladesh testifies the campaign of the government of Myanmar to avoid its obligations to create an environment in Rakhine conducive for the sustained repatriation and reintegration of the forcibly displaced Rohingya in their homeland.

Not a single Rohingya was repatriated over the last two years due to Myanmar’s “failure” to build confidence among Rohingyas and lack of conducive environment in Rakhine State, officials here said.

Bangladesh has so far handed over names of over 1,00,000 Rohingyas to the Myanmar authorities for verification and subsequently expediting their repatriation efforts but Myanmar is yet to take back its nationals from Bangladesh, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.

Earlier, Dr Momen briefed the reporters on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s participation at the 25th UN Climate Change Conference to be held in Madrid, Spain next month.

The 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) will convene from December 2-13. The Prime Minister will leave Dhaka for Madrid on December 1 and will leave Madrid for Dhaka on December 3, said the Foreign Minister.  Earlier, Chile, citing the impact of the ongoing anti-government protests, announced that it was withdrawing as host of the upcoming COP25 annual climate summit.






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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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