Saturday, November 25, 2017

BNP asks Hasina to tap China, India over Rohingya refugee crisis

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2017-09-10 22:12:55 BdST


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina should try convincing China and India to pressure the Myanmar government into taking back the Rohingya refugees who are currently flooding the southeastern border of Bangladesh, BNP leader Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has said.

“The prime minister should take a trip to India and China, if needed. They are lending support to the Myanmar government,” the party spokesperson said on Sunday.

“They need to be clearly told about the kind of hazards knocking at our door,” said the BNP secretary general at a party event.

He was hopeful that proper diplomatic strategies will bring positive solution to the crisis.

Fakhrul’s remark comes a day after Health Minister Mohammed Nasim called on the BNP to help the government tackle the Rohingya issue.

According to the United Nations, nearly 300,000 Rohingya refugees have taken shelter in Bangladesh after fresh violence broke in the Rakhine State on Aug 25 when insurgents attacked 30 police posts and an army base there.

“Myanmar is driving off its citizens to destroy our sovereignty,” said Fakhrul.

“The government must take prompt diplomatic measures to force the Myanmar government to take back their citizens and stop the eviction.”

He highlighted how BNP founder Ziaur Rahman did so back in 1978.

“But the government is doing nothing. They are scared if militants, arms are floating in with the refugees.

“Think straight and force the Myanmar government to stop the killings and torture,” said the BNP stalwart.

He made the observations at a programme marking the 39th founding anniversary of Jatiyatabadi Mohila Dal held at the Institution of Engineers Bangladesh in Dhaka on Sunday.

Almost half a million Rohingya Muslims have been living in two registered camps and makeshift settlements in bordering Cox's Bazar over the last few decades, fleeing persecution and communal violence in Myanmar.

Myanmar has not responded to Bangladesh's calls to take them back and refuses to recognise them as citizens.

Bangladesh's border guards have reported that Myanmar troops have fired mortars and machine guns at Rohingya civilians trying to escape the bloodshed.