US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas has said that they are prepared to extend support to the declared goal of a “free, fair and peaceful” election in Bangladesh. He said USA’s goal is not to interfere in the election but to support the goal that allows people to freely choose who they want to run the country. “We speak out frequently in support of the goal,” said Ambassador Haas. Also read: UNHCR welcomes S Korea’s contribution of USD 1 million for Rohingyas in Bangladesh The US ambassador also said it is the collective responsibility of the entire world to make sure that conditions are in place in Myanmar so that the Rohingyas can return to their homeland with dignity. “They need to be protected, educated, and they need to enjoy dignity where they are living,” he said while attending an event as a keynote speaker. The US ambassador said the Rohingyas should not be punished for the action taken by Myanmar and they should be treated well without any discrimination towards them. Ambassador Haas laid emphasis on constant collective pressure on Myanmar, noting that the solution to the crisis unfortunately is not so easy. He said they are also exploring the option of resettlement, but it offers very limited opportunity as it is meant for only the most vulnerable people. Also read: Thailand provides assistance to support WFP’s food aid for Rohingyas in Bangladesh The ambassador also highlighted the importance of holding people responsible for the genocide. He appreciated Bangladesh’s generosity in providing shelter to the Rohingyas; otherwise, he thinks the situation would have been far worse. On the occasion of International Day of Peace, the US ambassador said: “The essence of International Peace Day is to remind us of the critical role of peace in addressing global challenges.” Chaired by Professor Atiqul Islam, NSU’s Vice-Chancellor, the session, held at NSU’s main auditorium, experienced the full-capacity of 1200 audience comprised of students, faculties and officials of NSU. Welcoming all, Javed Muneer Ahmad, Chairman, NSU Board of Trustees, said that peace is the most precious resource now in a conflict-ridden world. Dr. Abdul Wohab, Coordinator, Center for Peace Studies (CPS) made opening remarks, highlighting CPS’s role in promoting peace, sustainability, and diplomacy through research, dialogue, and community engagement. Also read: UK to push for long-term solution to Rohingya crisis
Bangladesh will start their campaign in the 19th Hangzhou Asian Games through men's football taking on neighboring Myanmar on Tuesday (Sept 19). The match will kick- off at 2 pm (Bangladesh time) at the Xiaoshan Sports Center Stadium in the Chinese city of Hangzhou. Although the Hangzhou Asian Games will officially be inaugurated on September 23, but the men's football competition will start three days ahead (Sept 19) of the meet's opening ceremony. How to buy Online Tickets for Bangladesh vs New Zealand Series Some 12,000 athletes from 45 Asian countries are expected to compete in 481 events in 61 disciplines of sports in the biggest sports carnival in Asia, the second-biggest sports extravaganza in the world after the Olympic Games. Bangladesh will compete in 17 disciplines of sports—athletics, archery, boxing, cricket, chess, football, kabaddi, hockey, shooting, swimming, weightlifting, karate, gymnastics, fencing, bridge, golf, and taekwondo—in the Hangzhou Asian Games scheduled for September 23 to October 8. Bangladesh Men's Football Team, which reached the Chinese city of Hangzhou Saturday morning in the first base of 240-member Bangladesh contingent, made their practices for the 2nd consecutive day on Monday at the Dianzikeji University ground in Hangzhou. Bashundhara Kings leaves for Male to play AFC Cup away match After the day's practice session, the Assistant Coach of Bangladesh Men's Football team Hasan Al Mamun said, they are expecting a good start (Tuesday). Dhaka Abahani defender Rahmat Mia will lead the Bangladesh team in Asian Games Football. Bangladesh's team, which was placed in tough group with upper ranked China, India, and Myanmar, will face India on September 21 and host China on September 24 in remaining group matches. Bangladesh played 27 matches in the Asian Games Football since their first inception in 1978 and won only four matches, one each against Malaysia, Nepal, Afghanistan, and Qatar. Meanwhile, the Bangladesh women's football team will fly for Hangzhou Tuesday (September 19) midnight to make their first -ever debut in Asian Games Women's Football. Bangladesh team reaches Hangzhou to participate in Asian Games Football Bangladesh will play former World Cup against Japan on September 22, stronger Vietnam on September 25 and Nepal on September 28 in group affairs. Bangladesh, which faced a medal drought in the last Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia, in 2018, this time expecting better results from cricket, shooting, and archery. Moreover, Bangladesh also has high hopes for two Bangladesh-origin expatriate athletes: Zinnat Ferdous of the United States and sprinter Imranrur Rahman of the United Kingdom. Grand Master Niaz Morshed and the captain of SAFF champions Bangladesh Women's Football Team, Sabina Khatun, will carry the Bangladesh national flag in the opening ceremony of the Asian Games on September 23.
The United States has shared information with The Gambia in connection with the case the latter brought forward against Myanmar under the Genocide Convention at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over atrocities committed against the Rohingyas. "We stand ready to support a holistic transitional justice process to address the long history of atrocities once such a process becomes viable to respect the demands of victims and survivors for truth, reparation, justice, and non-recurrence," US Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, Uzra Zeya, said. Acknowledging the genocide as the first step, not the last, she said, all must take the next steps together to bring an end to the violence and prevent the recurrence of atrocities. Further delay in commencing Rohingya repatriation may put entire region at risk: Bangladesh Govt Zeya was speaking on the occasion of six years since the start of the horrific genocide against Rohingyas, said the US Department of State. She thanked members of the Rohingya diaspora who joined in. "I applaud your resilience in the face of ongoing persecution," she said. Over the course of 2016 and 2017, Myanmar’s military brutally attacked Rohingya communities. Systematic acts of violence, including torture, sexual and gender-based violence, and mass killings led to largescale displacement and loss of thousands of innocent lives. The Myanmar military targeted one of the most vulnerable and marginalized populations in the country, forcing over 740,000 Rohingyas to seek refuge in Bangladesh. The rippling impact of those attacks continues today, six years later. Help us return home in Myanmar, Rohingyas appeal Bangladesh hosts over a million Rohingya refugees, with significant numbers seeking refuge in nearby countries. Many more remain internally displaced in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. "During my visit to Bangladesh in July, I met with Rohingya refugees, who shared personal stories of the horrific violence they and their families endured in Burma and the fear of continued persecution that prevents their return," Zeya said. The gradual loss of rights, citizenship, homes, and even their lives in the years leading up to the 2016-2017 outbreak of atrocities made clear that the regime sought to destroy Rohingya communities based on a false, discriminatory narrative of ethnic and religious differences. This false narrative attempts to obscure the fact that Rohingyas have been an integral part of Myanmar society for generations. "We are unwavering in our commitment to provide assistance to survivors and victims, seek accountability for those responsible, and pursue justice for the survivors and victims," Zeya said. US to pursue justice for Rohingyas and all people of Myanmar: Blinken In terms of providing assistance, the United States is the leading single donor of life-saving humanitarian assistance to this cause. They have provided more than $2.1 billion to assist those affected by the crisis in Myanmar, Bangladesh, and elsewhere in the region since 2017. Recognizing that Rohingyas cannot safely return to their homeland in Myanmar under current conditions, she said, resettlement is another important way in which we contribute. Since 2009, the United States has warmly welcomed nearly 13,000 Rohingyas from the region, including from Bangladesh. "Our work is not just humanitarian, we also must move towards accountability," Zeya said. 6th Year of Rohingya Influx: Groups seek justice for 'ethnic genocide' in Myanmar The US also provides support to the UN’s Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar, which has a mandate to collect, consolidate, preserve, and analyze evidence of the most serious international crimes and violations of international law committed in Myanmar since 2011. US support includes providing the mechanism with $2 million of funding to strengthen its ability to conduct open-source investigations and to protect witnesses and victims. "We are not alone in seeking accountability. On Wednesday, we joined 12 other nations on the UN Security Council in a joint statement calling out the continued, unrelenting violence perpetrated by the military regime," Zeya said. This statement called on the regime to restore the rights of the Rohingyas. On Wednesday, the United States expanded its Myanmar-related sanctions on authorities to include any foreign individual or entity operating in the jet fuel sector of Myanmar’s economy and designated two individuals and three entities under this authority. This expansion follows US sanction actions already taken this year that designated Burma’s Ministry of Defense, its two largest regime-controlled banks, the Ministry of Energy, and other individual military-affiliated cronies. Zeya said they will continue to use their sanctions authorities to deprive the military regime of the resources that enable it to oppress its people and urge others to take similar accountability measures. Sixth year of genocidal attacks against Rohingya: A UN expert demands accountability for the violence "Justice for victims is also crucial. The United States coordinates with international partners and NGOs to support the Rohingya courageously seeking justice in the courts of Argentina for the atrocities committed against them," she said. Zeya said they are actively working with civil society and members of the Rohingya community to document the atrocities and other abuses committed against them. Secretary Blinken’s determination in March 2022 that members of Myanmar’s military committed genocide and crimes against humanity against Rohingya was a historic occasion. This marked only the eighth time the United States has come to such a critical conclusion, she said. "We must take into account the needs of survivors, including creating the conditions to enable refugees’ safe, voluntary, dignified, and sustainable return. We must address the military’s continued impunity for human rights abuses. And, we must support the fight for justice for those who have suffered," Zeya said. The US official said, "Taking these steps is how we can ensure a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic Myanmar that respects the human rights of all."
6 years of Rohingya Influx: Bangladesh wants repatriation; some countries pushing for integration here
Six years after the Rohingya influx in Bangladesh, the government continues its efforts focusing on their safe repatriation, though some countries and international organisations are pushing for their integration in Bangladesh. “Our priority is that they (Rohingyas) will return to their homeland. Myanmar is also willing to take them back,” said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, noting that Myanmar needs to ensure safety and security of the Rohingyas after their return to their place of origin. On August 25, 2017, Myanmar’s military began carrying out violent operations against the Rohingya population in northern Rakhine state, which resulted in grave crimes under international law. Entire villages were burnt, and hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas were forced to flee into Bangladesh. The Foreign Minister said the government remains in a firm position regarding their repatriation to Myanmar. “So, discussion is underway. We are always hopeful,” he said, adding that some countries and international organisations recommended the Bangladesh government to give Rohingyas training and skills, and keep them here. Read: Singapore's support sought for Rohingya repatriation, Dhaka's inclusion as ASEAN Dialogue Partner Momen said Bangladesh already has a huge population and it does not need a large number of people from other countries. The minister said Rohingyas came to Bangladesh in the 1970s, '80s and '90s but every time they returned, even during military rule in the past. UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, has called for renewed commitment from the international community for financial support to sustain the humanitarian response and political support to find solutions for over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Bangladesh. This week marks six years since over 700,000 Rohingya men, women and children from Myanmar fled to Bangladesh. They joined hundreds of thousands of other Rohingyas who had previously sought refuge in the country. Read: Said no to US congressmen’s suggestion that Bangladesh absorb Rohingyas: Momen As the humanitarian condition in the world’s largest refugee settlement worsens, the challenges surrounding this protracted crisis continue to increase. Steep decline in funds is forcing humanitarian actors to focus on the most critical and life-saving needs, UNHCR said. It has for the first time led to the reduction of refugees’ food assistance, raising concerns about cascading dramatic consequences: rising malnutrition, school dropout, child marriage, child labour and gender-based violence. With their strength and resilience, the Rohingya refugees have, over the past six years, formed the backbone of the humanitarian response and supported the communities hosting them in turn. UNHCR urged support to enable Rohingya refugees to benefit from education and skills development, through vocational training and other forms of capacity-building. This will not only equip the refugees for their eventual return but also ensure their dignity, safety and productivity during their time in Bangladesh. Read: Dedicated to finding global partners to fund humanitarian efforts in Rohingya camps: OIC This can empower them to address some of their own needs, as the refugees do not wish to be totally reliant on diminishing humanitarian aid, said the UN refugee agency on Tuesday. A dignified and sustainable return to Myanmar remains the primary solution to this crisis, said the UNHCR, adding that “Rohingya refugees continue to tell us they want to return to Myanmar when it is safe for them to do so voluntarily.” The UN agency said the international community must renew its efforts to make that possible. “As the United Nations remains ready to support efforts to create the conditions that would be conducive to sustainable return, it is crucial that UNHCR and its partners are provided unimpeded, meaningful and predictable access in Rakhine State in Myanmar, including to assist and monitor the return of refugees.” The collective goal should be to ensure Rohingyas’ voluntary return to Myanmar — to their places of origin or choice, being able to move freely and access documentation, citizenship pathways, services and income-generation opportunities to rebuild their lives, UNHCR said. Read more: Bangladesh seeks stronger support from int'l community for Rohingya repatriation Until they can return, they remain in refugee camps located in an area off the coast of the Bay of Bengal, which is extremely vulnerable to cyclones, flooding, landslides, fire outbreaks, and the impacts of climate change.
ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights call for women, ethnic groups to have greater say in the future of Myanmar
The Myanmar pro-democracy movement must listen to the calls of women and ethnic groups and their vision for federalism, ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) said today. On June 29, APHR held a closed-door meeting with women’s rights defenders and activists from Myanmar civil society groups in Chiang Mai, Thailand as part of a series of discussions that aim to provide a platform for gendered perspectives on the crisis in the country, including topics such as federalism, patriarchy, and ethnic inclusion. UN shines light on humanitarian crisis in Myanmar As long as there has been a civil war in Myanmar, there has been a struggle for ethnic autonomy, including the rights to their land, language, health care, education and traditions. For women, in addition to the fight for ethnic equality, has also been for gender equality. In the current context of post-coup Myanmar, new challenges have emerged and a new struggle for equality across all genders and ethnicities. “The commitment and dedication of women to Myanmar’s struggle for democracy is evident across the movement,” said APHR Board Member and former Thai foreign minister Kasit Piromya. “Federalism cannot exist in Myanmar without democracy, and certainly not without the contributions of women.” US sanctions Myanmar’s defense ministry, 2 regime-controlled banks “The history of Burma is rooted in ongoing conflict. When we look at the creators of conflict, it is very clear it is the Myanmar junta. Women have always been involved in revolutionary acts because we believe in genuine peace,” said Moon Nay Li, Joint General Secretary of the Women’s League of Burma . While pro-democracy bodies, including the National Unity Government, the National Unity Consultative Council and the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, have called for federalism to defeat the junta, women-led organizations and activists are advocating for a future that is gender-equal as well as federal. Dhaka seeks ASEAN’s active role for repatriation of Rohingyas “Too often, women are told that their pursuits for gender equality are of lesser importance amidst the shared struggle to defeat the junta. These struggles are interconnected as the commitment to end military rule is rooted in ending patriarchal norms and institutions,” said APHR member and member of the Philippines House of Representatives Arlene Brosas. “Women’s rights defenders are critical actors in the pro-democracy movement, and their voices must be amplified to ensure their needs are met and perspectives are heard.” ASEAN leader acknowledges no progress toward ending Myanmar's deadly civil strife During the meeting, the women’s rights defenders and activists were very clear that more reflection needed to be done on how the ‘pro-democracy’ movement is currently progressing. For many, this includes inner work, primarily from the Bamar majority, on how to ‘unlearn’ certain attitudes and beliefs which stem from Burmanization and the patriarchy. Calls were also made to the international community to engage with pro-democracy stakeholders, and not the regime. “The international community, including ASEAN, must support women human rights defenders and their calls for a more inclusive vision of federalism in Myanmar. Defeating the junta is imperative, but without the participation of women and ethnic people, a democratic Myanmar cannot be sustainable,” said APHR Chair and member of Indonesian House of Representatives Mercy Barends. Alarm over Myanmar, sea feud under ASEAN summit spotlight
Bangladesh must immediately suspend a pilot repatriation project for Rohingya refugees to return to Myanmar, where they "face serious risks" to their lives and liberty, a UN expert said on Thursday (June 8, 2023). UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, said there were reports that Bangladeshi authorities were using “deceptive and coercive measures” to compel Rohingya refugees to return to Myanmar. Also read: Rohingyas wanting to return to Myanmar should have access to clear info: UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees “Conditions in Myanmar are anything but conducive for the safe, dignified, sustainable, and voluntary return of Rohingya refugees,” Andrews said. “Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who commanded the forces that launched the genocidal attacks against the Rohingya, now leads a brutal military junta that is attacking civilian populations while denying the Rohingya citizenship and other basic rights,” he said. Bangladesh officials have stated that an initial group of 1,140 Rohingya refugees will be repatriated to Myanmar at an unspecified date and 6,000 will be returned by the end of the year. Actions by Bangladesh authorities suggest that the first return could be imminent. Aslo read: Myanmar team arrives in Cox's Bazar to verify list of Rohingya for repatriation “There are also reports of refugees being promised large sums of money, if they agree to return. These promises are allegedly being made even as food rations are being cut to $.27 per person per day for those in the Bangladesh camps. It remains unclear where the funds for repatriated families will come from,” Andrews said. Under the pilot project, Rohingya refugees will not be allowed to return to their own villages, many of which were razed to the ground during the genocidal attacks of 2017. The refugees would pass through “reception” and “transit” centers in Maungdaw township, after which they would be moved to a designated area of 15 newly constructed “villages” – places they would not be allowed to leave freely. In March, Bangladesh authorities facilitated two visits by Myanmar junta authorities (SAC) to the Bangladesh camps. Also read: Dhaka seeks global support in pilot Rohingya repatriation project Bangladesh and SAC officials also coordinated a “go and see” visit to Rakhine State for some Rohingya refugees. Bangladeshi officials said the refugees had expressed “general satisfaction” with arrangements made for their return, but these assurances were contradicted by reports that those who participated in the trip had unequivocally rejected the repatriation plans.
Violence linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group has made Burkina Faso a country with one of the world's fastest-growing populations of internally displaced people, with the number mushrooming by more than 2,000% since 2019, according to government data. Figures released last month showed more than 2 million people are internally displaced in the West African nation, the majority of them women and children, fueling a dire humanitarian crisis as the conflict pushed people from their homes, off their farms and into congested urban areas or makeshift camps. Aid groups and the government are scrambling to respond amid a lack of funds and growing needs. One in four people requires aid, and tens of thousands are facing catastrophic levels of hunger. Yet not even half of the $800 million humanitarian response budget requested last year by aid groups was funded, according to the United Nations. Also Read: UN agencies warn of starvation risk in Sudan, Haiti, Burkina Faso and Mali, call for urgent aid "The spectrum of consequences (for people) is vast but grim at every point. A lot of people might die, and they're dying because they weren't able to access food and health services, because they weren't properly protected, and the humanitarian assistance and the government response wasn't sufficient," Alexandra Lamarche, a senior fellow at advocacy group Refugees International, said. The violence has divided a once-peaceful nation, leading to two coups last year. Military leaders vowed to to stem the insecurity, but jihadi attacks have continued and spread since Capt. Ibrahim Traore seized power in September. The government retains control of less than 50% of the country, largely in rural areas, according to conflict analysts. Al-Qaida and Islamic State-affiliated groups control or threaten large areas, said Rida Lyammouri, senior fellow at the Policy Center for the New South, a Morocco-based think tank. "State security forces don't have the resources (human and equipment) to fight both groups at all fronts," he said. The jihadis' strategy of blocking towns, preventing people from moving freely and goods from flowing in, has compounded the displacement crisis. Some 800,000 people in more than 20 towns are under siege, say aid groups. Also Read: Mass killing of civilians by security forces in Burkina Faso "The situation is very difficult. ... People don't have food, children don't have school," Bibata Sangli, 53, who left the eastern town of Pama in January 2022 just before it came under siege. She still has family there who are unable to leave, Sangli said. A community leader who last year met Jafar Dicko, the top jihadi in Burkina Faso, said Dicko's group blockades towns that don't accept its rules, such as banning alcohol and requiring women to be veiled their faces. The leader spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the media. In January, the United Nations began using Chinook heavy-lift helicopters to airlift food to areas inaccessible by road - an extremely costly approach. The three Chinooks were reduced to one in May, making it harder to reach many people as quickly. While the humanitarian situation deteriorates, so has the ability of aid groups to operate. Since the military takeovers of Burkina Faso's government began in January 2022, incidents against aid organizations perpetrated by the security forces increased from one in 2021 to 11 last year, according to unpublished data for aid groups seen by The Associated Press. The incidents included workers being arrested, detained and injured. In November, security forces killed a humanitarian worker with a Burkina Faso aid organization in the Sahel region, the vast expanse below the Sahara Desert, according to a text message sent to an aid worker WhatsApp group seen by the AP. Rights groups, analysts and civilians say Traore, the junta leader, is only focused on achieving military gains and cares little about human rights, freedom of speech or holding people accountable for indiscriminate killings of individuals suspected of supporting the militants. Burkina Faso's security forces killed at least 150 civilians in the north in April, according to local residents from the village of Karma, where most of the violence took place. Prosecutors said they opened an investigation into the killings. Earlier this year, an AP investigation into a video circulating on social media determined that Burkina Faso's security forces killed children at a military base in the country's north. While the government wages war, civilians bear the brunt and are running out of hope. After jihadis attacked his village in eastern Burkina Faso in April, killing people and stealing cattle, a father of five, who did not want to be identified for security reasons, fled to the region's main town of Fada N'Gourma. But now his family doesn't have food or access to health care, and the assistance supplied by humanitarian groups isn't enough, he said. "Since we've been displaced, our situation keeps getting worse," the 46-year-old man said. "I miss my home."
Bangladesh's Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Monday (May 29, 2023) said the Rohingyas’ better life and future can be ensured only in their own country and it is better for them to start returning to their homes in Myanmar. "For Rohingyas, better future is only possible in Myanmar, not in Bangladesh. Confidence building measures are being taken. It is better they start returning to Myanmar," he told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Momen said the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister came to Bangladesh to discuss the Rohingya, not the issues that media raised. "He (Chinese Vice Minister) was not even close that issue," said the Foreign Minister while responding to a question on Global Development Initiative (GDI) of China. Read more: Bangladesh urged to use LDC graduation as an opportunity to rethink its reliance on RMG Momen said China is facilitating the Rohingya repatriation efforts. On Sunday, Bangladesh and China reviewed the ongoing efforts for repatriation of the Rohingyas back to their homeland in Myanmar smoothly and on an expeditious basis. Foreign Minister Momen thanked the Chinese government for making "sincere efforts" for the safe and quick return of the Rohingya people from Bangladesh. Asked when the Rohingyas will start returning to Myanmar, he said he does not have any idea about any specific date. Read more: Rohingya Case: OIC Secretary General seeks support from member states Both Foreign Minister Dr Momen and Vice Foreign Minister of China Sun Weidong expressed similar views that the problem needed an urgent solution, because if left unaddressed for any longer, it could potentially evolve as a tangible threat to the regional security and stability. "There are trilateral efforts. Our priority is to see repatriation of the Rohingyas," Momen said. He said many Rohingyas are willing to return while some Rohingyas raised issues like citizenship. During his meeting with Dr Momen on Sunday, the Vice Foreign Minister of China highly lauded the remarkable socio-economic transformation of Bangladesh under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Read more: Dhaka, Beijing review Rohingya repatriation effort "The Chinese Vice Minister visited Padma Bridge. He acknowledged that Bangladesh made things possible over the last 10 years that looked impossible," Momen said. Dr Momen highly appreciated the substantial contributions made by China towards the developmental journey of Bangladesh. Responding to a question, Momen said the Chinese Vice Minister invited Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to visit China but Dhaka conveyed that the Prime Minister will be in New York at that time. Read more: Countries investing heavily in Myanmar should come forward to solve Rohingya crisis: Momen
Bangladesh and China on Sunday (May 28, 2023) reviewed the ongoing efforts for repatriation of the Rohingyas to their homeland in Myanmar smoothly and on an expedited basis. Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen thanked the Chinese government for making sincere efforts for the safe and quick repatriation of the displaced population. Momen and Vice Foreign Minister of China Sun Weidon agreed that the problem needed an urgent solution, because if left unaddressed for any longer, it could potentially evolve as a tangible threat to regional security and stability. During his meeting with Momen, the vice foreign minister of China highly lauded the remarkable socio-economic transformation of Bangladesh under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Read more: Rohingya Case: OIC Secretary General seeks support from member states Momen highly appreciated the substantial contributions made by China towards the developmental journey of Bangladesh. He profusely admired the excellent bilateral relations between the two friendly countries and expressed optimism that the constructive and collaborative relations would be further strengthened in the days ahead. Momen congratulated Sun for the successful holding of the bilateral consultations on May 27 in Dhaka. Noting the deep cultural, historical and civilization links between the two countries, Foreign Minister Momen mentioned about the visit of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to China in the 1950s and the book he wrote on what he saw. Read more: Rohingyas not satisfied with the Myanmar delegation’s assurances Sharing his admiration for the magnificent Padma Multipurpose Bridge, Sun mentioned that the structure stands out as a new symbol of the friendship between Bangladesh and China and observed that the two countries could achieve miracles through greater and better synergies. Momen invited and encouraged larger flow of Chinese FDI into Bangladesh for mutual benefit of both the countries. He recalled with profound appreciation the assistance that China offered during the Covid-19 pandemic and mentioned his brief meeting with the Chinese Foreign Minister in Dhaka in January this year. While discussing the facility of duty-free and quota-free access to 98% Bangladeshi products to China, he hoped that all necessary measures would be taken so that Bangladesh could get optimum benefit out of this arrangement. Read more: Joint operation to prevent crime, violence in Rohingya camps soon: Home Minister He also stressed on an expedited implementation of the projects agreed during the last visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping to Bangladesh. Sun praised Bangladesh’s energetic youth population capable of making a significant change in the society and economy. He referred to the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative of the Chinese President Xi Jinping and hoped that Bangladesh reaped the maximum benefits out of this grand scheme.
The 14-member Myanmar delegation held a three-hour meeting with the Rohingyas, who fled the Buddhist-majority country amid military persecution and have taken shelter in Cox's Bazar, ahead of their possible repatriation that is being discussed. However, the Rohingyas are not satisfied with the assurances given by the delegation. The meeting was held with more than 200 Rohingyas at Jadimura Shalbagan camp in Teknaf on Thursday (May 25, 2023) afternoon. Later, the delegation returned to Myanmar by trawler via Teknaf-Myanmar transit jetty at Jaliapara municipality. Read more: Myanmar team arrives in Cox's Bazar to verify list of Rohingya for repatriation Earlier, the 14-member delegation from Myanmar arrived in a cargo trawler at Teknaf-Myanmar Transit Jetty of Teknaf Municipality Jaliapara around 10am on Thursday. The team was led by Aung Myo, Maungdaw's regional director at the Ministry of Social Affairs. After the meeting, Director General (Myanmar) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Moinul Kabir said, "Our main objective is to repatriate the Rohingyas. Because that's the only permanent solution. Various initiatives are being taken to send Rohingyas to their home countries. In continuation of this, the Myanmar team has come.” Expressing dissatisfaction with the assurance of the delegation, some of the Rohingya participants of the meeting said that they demanded Myanmar citizenship, return of their lands and freedom of movement like other communities in the country. "They're talking about taking us to camps in that country with an NBC card. But that's not how we're willing to go,” a Rohingya participant said, in return for anonymity to discuss the issue. Read more: Dhaka seeks global support in pilot Rohingya repatriation project.