Myanmar reluctant in returning Rohingyas: PM

Says after a very successful tri-nation visit

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today accused Myanmar of being reluctant in repatriating their over a million Rohingya nationals defying their promise and feared that some international aid agencies to tend to keep the crisis alive.

“The problem lies with Myanmar as they don’t want to return the Rohingyas by any means” though Naypyidaw signed an agreement with Bangladesh promising to repatriate them, she told a crowded press conference at her Ganabhaban official residence this afternoon, reports BSS.

Photo Courtesy: BSS

The premier simultaneously feared that some international aid and voluntary agencies too were unwilling to resolve the crisis saying, “They never want the refugees to return their home”.

“This is what I see,” Sheikh Hasina told the press conference, a day after her return home following her tri-nation tour to Japan, Saudi Arabia and Finland.

Asked for comments about a perception that three major countries – China, Japan and India – took Myanmar’s side in the crisis, the premier said Dhaka separately held talks with these countries when they all acknowledged Rohingyas to be Myanmar nationals and agreed should return there.

“(But) they (three countries) simultaneously argued that if they all confront Myanmar over the issue, then who will be there to convince them (Naypyidaw),” she said.

Asked she planned to visit China after Japan to draw Beijing’s active support on the issue, Sheikh Hasina answered in the affirmative saying she planned to join a summit in July this year at the invitation of China’s President Xi Jinping. The premier said she might also visit India if invited as she by now congratulated her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi after his reelection and invited him to Dhaka.

Replying to another question whether the OIC nations were in favour of Rohingyas repatriation as she referred to the crisis in the just held summit of the 57-nation Muslim countries forum, the premier replied “certainly”.

Sheikh Hasina expressed her concerns about the security factors involving the Rohingyas as many of them were found to be getting engaged in criminal activities, forcing the authorities to ask armed forces and law enforcement agencies to intensify their vigil.

“We asked them to raise a security cluster around them (Rohingya camps) and enforce a constant patrol,” she said.

The premier, however, wondered why the Rohingyas were unwilling to be relocated to offshore Bhashan Char where the government built comfortable structures for their accommodation.

Awami League Presidium Member Begum Sajeda Chowdhury, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader and Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen were present on the dais along with the premier.


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