Speakers at a discussion here on Monday laid emphasis on serious efforts from China, India and other friends of Myanmar with continued pressure on it to resolve the Rohingya crisis, or else, they say it may cause a "big trouble" to Bangladesh within the next 10 years.
They laid emphasis on continuing pressure on Myanmar to take Rohingyas back as the "time-bomb (Rohingya)" may explode anytime affecting Bangladesh and beyond.
The Institute of Conflict, Law and Development Studies (ICLDS) and the daily Bhorer Kagoj jointly arranged the roundtable titled ‘Necessity of Rohingya Repatriation in the Context of Regional and Global Situation’ held at the Jatiya Press Club with ICLDS Chairman and former Ambassador Muhammad Zamir in the chair.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam spoke as the chief guest at the roundtable moderated by Bhorer Kagoj Editor Shyamal Dutta.
Brig Gen (retd) M Sakhawat Hossain, former Ambassador Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury, former SC judge Justice AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury Manik, senior secretary at Disaster management and Relief Secretary Md Shah Kamal and Ukhiya Upazila chairman, among others, spoke at the event.
“We must keep up the pressure on Myanmar. It’s a national crisis. If we can’t solve it, we’ll be in big trouble in the next 10 years,” said Sakhawat adding that everybody must contribute to that end.
He said he does not see any solution to the Rohingya crisis in “1-10 years” because Myanmar is not willing to take them back.
Sharing his 1992 experience of dealing with Rohingya issue, Sakhawat said the problem is that they do not understand Myanmar and that is why Bangladesh even goes to them for rotten onions and unfortunately those are being thrown away.
Explaining geostrategic shift, he said they need to keep it in mind that geostrategic shifts always and it is very difficult to remain in centre for Bangladesh amid India and China’s tug from both sides.
Sakhawat urged the government to create “Rohingya voice” and take them everywhere to tell their stories of sufferings in their own voice.
Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas and most of them entered Cox’s Bazar since August 25, 2017 amid military crackdown on Rohingyas in Rakhine State.
Not a single Rohingya was repatriated over the last two years due to Myanmar’s “failure” to build confidence among Rohingyas and lack of conducive environment in Rakhine, officials here said.
Bangladesh has so far handed over names of over 1 lakh Rohingyas to the Myanmar authorities for verification and subsequently expediting their repatriation efforts but Myanmar is yet to take its nationals back from Bangladesh, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.