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25 November, 2016 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 24 November, 2016 11:00:37 PM
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Bangladesh urges int’l community

Take steps to stop Rohingya crisis

Some refugees had to be allowed on humanitarian grounds: Foreign minister
DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT
Take steps to stop Rohingya crisis
Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) personel stand watch for the illegal entry of Myanmar Rohingya refugees on the banks of the Naf River, near Teknaf in southern Cox's Bazaar district yesterday. AFP photo

Some Rohingyas escaping the violence in the Rakhine state of Myanmar had to be allowed to cross the Bangladesh border on humanitarian ground and they are being given treatment and care, Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali said yesterday. “Look, the area is remote with hills and jungles. How can you stop all? Our Border Guard Bangladesh personnel are trying to stop them. But, there have been cases when it was impossible not to allow them in on humanitarian ground,” he told a questioner at a briefing organised at the foreign ministry to apprise journalists of the prime minister’s upcoming visit to Hungary. “You have to give them care and treatment once you brought them inside,” he added while responding to another question. When asked if Bangladesh is firmly telling the international community to pressurise Myanmar to stop violence in the Rakhine state, the foreign minister said, “Yes, we are.”
Meanwhile, the foreign minister briefed the members of the diplomatic community on the evolving situation in Myanmar and Bangladesh-Myanmar relations at the state guesthouse Padma and sought support from the international community to resolve the longstanding challenges, including the current crisis. Ambassadors, high commissioners and heads of diplomatic missions including United States, Canada, European Union, China, United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, India and China, and from the offices of UNRC, IOM & UNHCR attended the briefing. No representative from the Myanmar embassy in Dhaka was present at the briefing. During the briefing, the foreign minister apprised them of the steps that the government had taken to establish and maintain friendly relations with Myanmar, particularly with the newly elected NLD Government through engagements at different levels.
He also informed them that the government willingly provided the Myanmar government cooperation since terrorist attacks that took place in the border guard posts of Myanmar on October 9 in the Rakhine state. As a responsible neighbour, Bangladesh not only condemned the attack, it provided critical assistance to the government of Myanmar by apprehending suspects and sharing intelligence. The foreign minister, however, expressed serious concerns over the influx of Muslims from Rakhine into the territory of Bangladesh in spite of the BGB’s efforts to stop the flow.  
Bangladesh has already requested Myanmar to take appropriate measures so that the Muslim minorities are not forced to take shelter across the border. The ministry summoned the ambassador of Myanmar in Dhaka on Wednesday and concerns of the Bangladesh Government were conveyed to him.
During the discussion, the representatives of the diplomatic community acknowledged that there is a need for increased assistance to the affected people and expressed their willingness to contribute, if requested. The UN resident coordinator expressed serious concern at the continuously deteriorating situation in the Rakhine state due to disproportionate reprisal actions by the Myanmar military.
The foreign minister expected that the situation in Myanmar would normalise soon and the people having temporary shelter in Bangladesh would be able to return to their homeland without fear of further violence and retaliation. Expressing Bangladesh’s deep interest in helping the Myanmar government in all possible ways – from addressing its security concern to contributing in the social reconciliation and economic betterment of people in the Rakhine state, he urged the international community to play its due role in it.
He requested the diplomatic community to sensitise their governments so that a coordinated approach can be taken to address the issue.  While talking to journalists after the briefing, Foreign Minister Ali said, “We wanted to know how this problem can be solved collectively. “We are also trying to enhance the economic, trade and cultural relations between the two countries,” he said, describing Myanmar as one of Bangladesh’s main neighbours.

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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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