Hasina exhorts international community to pile pressure on Myanmar over Rohingya repatriation

  • Staff Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2020-02-26 12:11:40 BdST


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called on Germany and the international community as a whole to exert pressure on the Myanmar government to repatriate the forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Bangladesh.

The prime minister made the call during a meeting with German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Dr Gerd Müller on Tuesday, according to Deputy Press Secretary Hasan Jahid Tusher.

“The Rohingya refugees are a big burden on us and they’re creating a social problem. Myanmar must take back its citizens from Bangladesh as soon as possible,” said Hasina.

She requested Germany to play a decisive role in ensuring the repatriation of the Muslim minority Rohingyas, who were driven out of their homeland in Myanmar's Rakhine State.

The presence of nearly 1.1 million Rohingyas is creating a major social problems in Cox’s Bazar where the refugees outnumber the locals, the prime minister said. Many of the Rohingyas are also involved in violence and human trafficking.

“Bangladesh had a bilateral meeting and also signed a contract with Myanmar over the repatriation of their citizens. But Myanmar is not abiding by the agreement as it is not taking its citizens back,” said Hasina.

The authorities are building barriers around the Rohingya refugee camps to ensure the security of the locals, the prime minister told the German minister.

The government is providing all kinds of support to Rohingyas on humanitarian grounds, having already issued identity cards for them, according to the Bangladesh leader.

Germany will explore ways to provide more assistance to Bangladesh on the issue, said Müller.

Different bilateral issues, including investment, readymade garment industry, development of the energy sector, water treatment plants and climate change, were discussed in the meeting, said the deputy press secretary.

All garment factories in Bangladesh are following international standards, the prime minister said in response to a query by Müller. Her government has ensure a 221 percent increase in the wages of garment factory workers alongside other benefits, according to Hasina.

“As a buyer, you need to think about how much you are paying,” Hasina said to hammer home the point that foreign buyers should pay more for Bangladeshi garment products.

Germany is assisting with setting up a water treatment plant worth $500 million beside the Meghna River to provide access to safe water for the people of Dhaka, said the German minister.

Hasina assured him of the government's assistance to expedite work on the project.

The prime minister also invited German Chancellor Angela Merkel to visit Bangladesh for Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's birth centenary celebrations this year.

“Like you're father, you too are very popular in your country,” Müller said as he applauded the leadership of Awami League chief. He also congratulated the prime minister on forming government for a fourth time.

The German minister conveyed his greetings to the people of Bangladesh as the country gears up to mark the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, International Affairs Adviser Gowhar Rizvi and Principal Secretary Ahmad Kaikaus were present at the meeting.