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26 April, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Rohingya crisis

Bangladesh still hopeful of finding solution

DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT, Dhaka

Bangladesh wants a peaceful solution of the Rohingya crisis and does not want to get involved in any war to resolve the matter, foreign minister AK Abdul Momen said yesterday. He also said those who had been opposing the relocation of Rohingyas to Bhasan Char would have to take the responsibility if any casualties were to occur due to natural calamities. “Myanmar has created the problem and they have to address it. We'll not get involved in any war. We want a peaceful solution to the problem,” he added.

The minister made the statement to journalists after meeting Mark Lowcock, UN under secretary general for humanitarian affairs, Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and Antonio Vitorino, director general of International organisation of Migration (IOM), at his office.

“Somebody has told me that if you want, you can display some power,” said the minister.

Asked about the identities of such people, the minister said they are “extremely powerful people”.  When asked whether it was a ‘powerful man or country’, the minister said: “Country. But we ignored it. We have said we want a peaceful solution. Earlier, Myanmar had taken back their people. We are optimistic.” The minister also said the foreign agencies, including the UN, have to take the responsibility if anything happens to Rohingyas because they are preventing the relocation 1,00,000 Rohingyas to Bhasan Char.

“We have told them we want to relocate some Rohingyas to Bhasan Char because there might be heavy rainfall during the upcoming rainy season. There is apprehension of lives being lost because of landslides. We will not be responsible for the loss of lives, but those who are preventing the relocation should be responsible for it,” he added.

“We will not relocate the Rohingyas under pressure. It will be a good place for them. We have developed the area by spending Tk. 2500 crore. Those who will be relocated will be able to take part in income-generating activities like fishing or rearing cattle,” the minister said.

The foreign minister told the visiting officials of UN agencies to spend more time in Myanmar to resolve the crisis rather than staying in Bangladesh. “I have told them you don’t have any work here. Please go to Myanmar. I have told them so it in a stern voice,” the minister said.

“I have told them to pay more attention to Myanmar. I have asked them how many times you have gone and how many of your people are working there. More than 1,000 of their people are working here. Do more work there, leave this place. Convince Myanmar so that they take back their people and work there for creating a congenial atmosphere,” the minister added.

Saying the Rohingyas are creating trouble in Cox’s Bazar, the minister said: “Our local people are very upset because the refugees are creating trouble. Their number is so big that they are destroying our forests.”  

During the closed-door meeting, Momen urged the visiting delegation to inquire who are supplying arms to Rakhine state to know who are involved in the whole process. “I have told them to check who are supplying arms to Rakhine. Conflicts are going on there. Find out who are supplying arms there,” he said.

“Terror attacks are taking place in various places. But we don’t know who supplies those arms to suppliers. If we come to know the source of those arms, the degree of terrorism will reduce,” he added.

The minister also urged the delegation to create public opinions around the globe for resolving the Rohingya crisis.

He emphasised that Myanmar should be brought under liabilities for carrying out heinous attacks on Rohingyas. “I have told them to put pressure on Myanmar by their friendly countries like Japan, South Korea, Singapore or the European Union because Myanmar conducts most of its businesses in those countries,” he said.

“If the problems are not resolved quickly, Rohingya youths will lean towards radicalism. If such thing happens, it’ll destabilise the whole region,” he warned.

About the schooling of Rohingya children, the minister said: “We know the children need schooling, but they need to learn their language and history. We don’t have such arrangemenst here. Let them learn there after their return.” Mark Lowcock told the journalists that they are continuing to find solutions to the problem inside Myanmar “The UN continues to do everything to promote solutions inside Myanmar so that Rohingyas can return. We want to end the sufferings and pains of Rohingya population,” Filippo Grandi said.

 

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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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