Published:  02:21 AM, 12 September 2017

'Temporary shelter on humanitarian ground'

PM visits Rohingya refugees today


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said Bangladesh is giving shelter to Myanmar refugees on humanitarian ground, but not forever. "We've given shelter to them (Myanmar refugees) on humanitarian ground, but we cannot keep them forever," she said when French Ambassador to Bangladesh Sophie Aubert met her at her Parliament office.

Sheikh Hasina urged the international community to mount pressure on Myanmar to take its nationals back. PM's press secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina amidst fresh influx of Rohingyas will visit the refugee camps in the southeastern Cox's Bazar's Ukhia today (Tuesday) to see for herself the plight of Rohingya refugees who have taken shelter there, fleeing fresh violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state.

Sheikh Hasina will be visiting the Kutupalang camp in Cox's Bazar, Deputy Press Secretary to the PM Ashraful Alam briefed the press earlier.

She said last week that Bangladesh was trying its best to support the refugees."We are also mounting pressure on Myanmar, so that their citizens can return to their homeland," she said recently. Bangladesh has proposed creating "safe zones" run by international aid groups for the Rohingyas in Rakhine state to stop hundreds of thousands of refugees crossing into Bangladesh.

The prime minister's visit to Rohingya refugee camps, after her government allotted 2,000 acres of forest land in Cox's Bazar area to accommodate fresh influx of victims of forced migration. Diplomats to visit Coxs Bazar tomorrow Bangladesh has proposed to foreign diplomats in Dhaka for a tour of the areas in Teknaf and Cox Bazar where thousands of Rohingyas have taken shelter, fleeing atrocities in neighboring Myanmar.

Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali on Monday spoke to the media after briefing diplomats from Asian countries on the Rohingya crisis that the government has arranged a visit for envoys from missions in Dhaka to the bordering district of Cox's Bazar on Wednesday.

Earlier in the afternoon, the foreign minister briefed the diplomats at the State Guest House Padma. Ambassadors and High Commissioners from diplomatic Missions of Afghanistan, Brunei Darussalam, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Maldives were present there.

The foreign minister briefed the diplomats about the current situation regarding influx of Rohingyas and apprised them that around 300,000 Rohingyas have already taken shelter in Bangladesh during the last two weeks.

He reiterated for implementation of the recommendations of Kofi Annan Commission Report and urged the international community to pursue the Myanmar government for immediate and unconditional implementation of the recommendations in its entirety for permanent solution to this crisis.

He also mentioned that Bangladesh had already been hosting 400,000 Rohingyas for three decades and currently the total number of Myanmar nationals living in Bangladesh had reached over 700,000. This, Mahmood remarked, has created a major challenge for Bangladesh in terms of providing shelter as well as other humanitarian assistances to them.

Dhaka had earlier pitched a joint operation with Myanmar forces on the border to neutralize militants and extremists, but Naypyidaw has not responded.

Unfortunately Myanmar has not responded to these proposals. Rather, they have been running a malicious propaganda terming the Rohingyas as 'illegal migrants from Bangladesh' and the attackers to their border guards' posts as 'Bengali terrorists'.

Bangladesh has proposed creating "safe zones" run by aid groups for the Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine to stop hundreds of thousands of refugees crossing into its territory. Home Ministry opens cell for Rohingyas

BSS adds: The government has opened a cell to record all information related to Rohingyas and monitor the daily situation on Bangladesh-Myanmar frontiers and in restive Rakhine state of the neighboring country.

Home Ministry also decided to prepare a biometric database of the Rohingyas. The passport directorate has been tasked to make a list of the Rohingyas with their names, photos and finger prints.

The cell will also be tasked to monitor the security situation in Myanmar's bordering Rakhine state, the scene of violence prompting the mass exodus of refugees to Bangladesh.

Myanmar's persecution was tantamount to genocide: NHRC

Blasting the atrocities on Rohingya people, National Human Rights Commission Chairman Kazi Reazul Hoque said Myanmar's persecution was tantamount to genocide during a press briefing at the Deputy Commissioner's office in Cox's Bazar on Monday.

He made the statements after visiting Rohingya refugees at registered and unregistered camps in Ukhia and Teknaf upazilas of Cox's Bazar.

NHRC Chairman demanded Myanmar be exposed to trial for committing "genocide" in Rakhine state and said that "extreme violation of human rights the persecution of Rohingyas and force them to flee their hearth and home.



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