“Rohingyas a big burden on Bangladesh, India can help”
-The Rohingyas are a “big burden” on Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, and reached out to the international community to ensure their return to their homeland. The PM said that Bangladesh had offered shelter to the Rohingyas when they were in dire need. “But now, they should go back to their country. India as a neighbour can play a major role in it, I feel,” Hasina said in an interview with ANI. She said that the presence of lakhs of Rohingyas in Bangladesh had created challenges for her government. Also read: Repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar ultimate solution: S Korea “For us (Rohingyas are) a big burden. India is a big country… you can accommodate. But in our country... we have 1.1 million Rohingyas… We are consulting with the international community and also our neighbouring countries. They should also take some steps so that they can go back home,” Hasina said. The Bangladesh prime minister said that her government had tried to take care of the displaced community, keeping the humanitarian aspect in mind. “…On humanitarian grounds, we give them shelter and provided everything. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we also vaccinated all the Rohingyas. But how long will they stay here? Due to the camps, there are negative impact on the environment… Some are engaging in drug trafficking and armed conflicts, trafficking women. Day by day it is increasing. The sooner they return home, the better for our country and also for Myanmar. We have been trying our best to pursue them, we’re discussing with them and also the international community, like ASEAN and UN,” Hasina said. During the interview, Hasina was also asked about Bangladesh’s cooperation with India on river water sharing, especially regarding the Teesta river. She said that while there were challenges, they were not anything which could not be resolved mutually. Also read: Requested US, UK, Japan to take Rohingyas from Bangladesh: FM “We are in a... you know... downstream. Water is coming from India, so India should show more generosity. Both the countries will be beneficiaries. Sometimes our people suffer a lot because of water needs… this is especially true for Teesta. I think, it should be solved. We found that the (Indian) Prime Minister is quite eager to solve this problem, but the problem is in your country,” Hasina said.
PM seeks more international support to ensure Rohingya repatriation
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday reiterated her call to the international community to do much more to ensure safe, sustainable and dignified return of over one million forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Bangladesh. “Bangladesh has been hosting 1.1 million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals. This humanitarian crisis poses a serious security threat,” the prime minister said in her recorded speech at the 78th Session of the UNESCAP. Also read: Rohingyas must not be forgotten while focusing on Ukraine: Grandi “We expect enhanced focus and active support of the international community for safe, sustainable and dignified return of these displaced people,” she told the session meeting under the theme ‘A common agenda to advance sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific’. She said that when the world is struggling to recover from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict came as a huge blow to the global economic and social stability. “The poor and developing countries are experiencing the brunt of the war. The war must be stopped immediately and joint actions are needed to tackle the situation,” she said. She mentioned the pandemic battered the health systems and economies of most of the countries across the world where the poor and developing countries were the worst sufferers. “In Bangladesh, while tackling the pandemic, we have tried to strike a balance between lives and livelihoods. Our timely and prudent interventions greatly helped manage the macroeconomic stability,” she said. While many countries in South Asia experienced negative or nominal GDP growth, she said, we maintained a commendable growth during the pandemic. She mentioned that Bangladesh is expecting over 7 per cent GDP growth in 2021-22. “We have already brought almost all targeted population under vaccination,” she said.
China urges int'l community to do more for Mali's peace, stability
A Chinese envoy on Thursday called on the international community to do whatever it can to help bring peace and stability to Mali. "The international community should bear in mind the overall situation of maintaining regional stability, actively provide help and support, and do more things that are conducive to peace and stability in Mali," Dai Bing, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, told a Security Council meeting on the situation in Mali. Dai said China commends the continuous communication on the political transition between parties concerned and hopes that the parties will reach an agreement as soon as possible to push the political process forward on the right track. Also Read: China demands 'immediate cancellation' of Pelosi's Taiwan visit plan The international community should support the transitional authority of Mali in accordance with the consensus reached at the National Reconstruction Conference to advance the reform process, implement the peace agreement, formulate and implement a comprehensive strategy for the central region, and help Mali embark on the development path that suits its national conditions, he added. On combatting terrorism, the envoy said "there should be no slack in the fight against terrorism. We should continue to support the Malian Government's efforts to combat terrorism and maintain stability, help it step up capacity-building, and respect its right to international security cooperation." "China has noted the concerns in some media reports about human rights violations in the counter-terrorism operations in the Moura region," said Dai, adding that the Malian side has already made clarifications, emphasizing that relevant actions were aimed at rescuing local people, and that they have always respected human rights and were willing to conduct relevant investigations. "China hopes that all sides will exercise restraint, and avoid making groundless accusations before any conclusion is reached by the investigation," Dai said. Also Read: China calls for probe into Bucha killings, assigns no blame Referring to the economic situation in the landlocked country in West Africa, Dai said that 42.7 percent of Malian people live in extreme poverty and 7.5 million people need humanitarian assistance, with 960,000 children under the age of five suffering from severe malnutrition. The international community must not forget about the difficulties faced by African countries such as Mali, and African development issues should not be marginalized, he noted. "As a good friend of African countries, China will continue to stand by African countries, accelerate the implementation of the Global Development Initiative and the outcomes of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, and continue to support Mali and other African countries in their economic recovery," Dai said.
AL appeals for global recognition of 1971 genocide
The ruling Awami League has again urged the international community to recognize the brutal massacres by Pakistani army on unarmed civilians in 1971 as 'genocide'. The 'appeal for justice' was made in a post, shared from AL verified account on Facebook, accompanied by a video provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Read: Sampriti Bangladesh demands global recognition of 1971 genocide "Bengalis wanted to be heard, to be recognised as equal to the West Pakistani rulers. Instead, they were killed mercilessly in their sleep," the post said. "On 25th March, Yahya Khan's sidekick Tikka Khan mobilized death squads to initiate 'Operation Searchlight'. They killed 7000 Bengalis in a single night. From that day till the end of the Liberation War 1971, Pakistani soldiers raped more than 200,000 women and killed more than 3 million people," reads the post. This massive genocide displaced 30-40 million Bengalis and more than 10 million people took refuge in India. The Hamoodur Rahman Commission's report is the most critical piece of evidence of the 1971 Bangladesh Genocide. Read: One-min blackout to mark Genocide Day tonight This report found the Pakistani military deployed in East Pakistan guilty of widespread atrocities, serious acts of human rights violations, other abuses of power, it said. "Then PM of Pakistan ZA Bhutto ordered to burn every copy of this report. These heinous crimes are yet to be universally recognised as genocide. Not recognising the events of 1971 as genocide will not just be severe injustice done to the memories of the victims of genocide, it will be an injustice done to history itself," the Facebook post reads.
NCC election deemed free and fair by international community: LGRD Minister
The Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) election has been viewed as a fair one by the international community, said Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Minister Md Tajul Islam. The Minister said this to the reporters after a meeting with Indian High Commissioner Vikram Kumar Doraiswami on Tuesday. Read:NCC Polls: Ivy rewrites history with a hat-trick He said that Narayanganj city polls were witnessed by the entire nation, diplomats and the media. The diplomats had discussed among themselves that the election was free and fair. Though votes have been cast via Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) Awami League candidate won a huge number of votes.
Rohingya Repatriation: Int'l community urged to take concrete actions
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has called on the international community including the UK to take concrete actions for creation of a conducive environment in Myanmar for sustainable return of Rohingyas to their homeland in Rakhine State. Lord Ahmad, British State Minister for Foreign Affairs for South Asia, United Nations and the Commonwealth met the Foreign Minister at the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh in New York recently and discussed various issues including the Rohingya crisis. Read: Rohingya repatriation: Dhaka seeks ICRC role in creating conditions in Rakhine In the meeting, the issue of climate change was also discussed.
4th anniversary of Rohingya exodus arrives with repatriation a far cry
Bangladesh continues to bear the burden of over 1.1 million Rohingyas as no repatriation took place over the last four years amid “lack of initiative” from the Myanmar side and “inadequate steps” by the international community. . The last exodus began on 25 August 2017, when violence broke out in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, forcing thousands of Rohingyas to seek shelter in Bangladesh. Most arrived in the first three months of the crisis and the vast majority reaching Bangladesh are women and children, and more than 40 per cent are under age 12, according to UNHCR, the UN refugee agency. Bangladesh shares borders with Myanmar and thinks stability in Myanmar is critically important in finding a durable solution for the Rohingyas who are victims of atrocity crimes. In June this year, Bangladesh expressed “deep disappointment” over a new resolution on Myanmar at the United Nations General Assembly as "it has failed to recommend actions” on repatriation of the Rohingyas and failed to adequately reflect on the crisis. READ: Involve locals in Rohingya management: Speakers The resolution did not include any recommendations or actions on the issue of repatriation of the Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar. Neither does it recognize or stress the need for creating a conducive environment in Rakhine for the safe, sustainable and dignified return. The resolution also lacks determination to address root causes of the Rohingya crisis through collective means.
Human rights defenders in Myanmar under siege, say UN experts
UN experts have expressed their utmost concern over the situation of human rights defenders in Myanmar, and called for a stronger international response to the military coup, including coordinated sanctions and an arms embargo against the junta by an "emergency coalition of nations". “The brute force terror campaign we are witnessing in Myanmar continues to be directed towards human rights defenders,” said Mary Lawlor, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, and Tom Andrews, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar. Read:Myanmar: UN expert calls for emergency coalition to end junta's 'reign of terror' The experts highlighted credible information they had received concerning human rights defenders being forced into hiding after having arrest warrants issued against them under section 505(a) of the Myanmar Penal Code. Their homes were raided, their possessions seized, and family members threatened and harassed. Many others, unable to flee, have been arbitrarily arrested, including labour rights defenders and student activists. Lawyers representing people detained following the coup have themselves been detained, as have journalists covering the protests. “For years, human rights defenders have been doing essential work promoting human rights in the country,” Lawlor said. Read: Rights group: Facebook amplified Myanmar military propaganda ”Since the coup, and despite enforced internet blackouts along with difficulties accessing basic resources, especially for defenders forced into hiding or living in rural areas, they have been documenting the mass violations being perpetrated by the military. As a result, they have been targeted,” the expert said. “The people of Myanmar appreciate expressions of concern from the international community, but what they desperately need is action. It is critical that nations stand with and for the besieged people of Myanmar who are being held hostage by an illegal military junta. It is time for strong, focused and coordinate action that includes economic sanctions and an arms embargo,” added Andrews.
Dhaka calls for 'effective actions' to repatriate Rohingyas
Bangladesh has reiterated its emphatic call to the international community to take more effective actions in ensuring safe, dignified and sustainable repatriation of Rohingyas now taking shelter in Bangladesh to their own lands in Myanmar. Shabbir Ahmad Chowdhury, Secretary (West) of Ministry of Foreign Affairs made the call at a panel discussion titled "Humanitarian Approach Towards Refugees and Migrants." Read:Cash, gold dug out from Ukhiya camp, Rohingya couple held The discussion was held as part of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum that ended in Antalya, Turkey on Sunday. Elaborating the measures undertaken by the government in addressing the humanitarian needs of Rohingyas as far as possible, Chowdhury underlined the need for immediate resolution of this crisis in view of the challenges it is presenting, not only to Bangladesh, but also to the entire region. Moderated by Andrea Sanke, an acclaimed media personality in Turkey, the panel was also addressed by Antonio Vitiligo, Director General of International Organization of Migration, Dr. Kerem Kinik, President of Turkish Red Crescent, Michael Spindelegger, Director General of International Centre for Migration Policy and Development and Dr. Savas Unlu, Director General of Migration Management of Ministry of Interior, Turkey. On the sidelines of panel discussions, Chowdhury held a bilateral meeting with Joshua Phopho Setipa, Managing Director, United Nations Technology Bank where both sides discussed how this particular Bank could be engaged in the process of Bangladesh's transition to a developing economy from LDC status. They also discussed the possibility of setting up a regional Centre of LDC Technology Bank in Dhaka. Read: UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Tahsan visits Cox's Bazar Rohingya camps A meeting was also held between Secretary Chowdhury and Karat Sarybay, Executive Director, CICA where both the dignitaries shared their perspectives on a range of contemporary issues including geopolitical uncertainty, economic volatility, security turmoil and pandemic dangers across Asia in particular and globe in general. They underlined the need for stepping up collaboration between and among the Asian nations more than ever. Stating the Foreign policy dictum of Father of the Nation of Bangabandu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman "Friendship to all, malice towards none" Secretary Chowdhury expressed the commitment of Bangladesh towards building peaceful sustainable societies across the world and more particularly across Asia. He also appraised him of the encouraging economic growth of Bangladesh amidst the pandemic and phenomenal socio-economic developments that the country has scripted in the recent time. Sarybay deeply appreciated the Bangladesh leadership for continued economic success of Bangladesh and efficient handling of pandemic. Chowdhury also had a bilateral meeting with the 1st Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkey Sedat Onal in the afternoon. Read:Speakers: Both formal and informal diplomacy needed to solve Rohingya problem During the meeting, among other issues, they discussed the possible State visit of Turkish President to Bangladesh, continued collaboration on the Rohingya issue bilaterally and multilaterally, enhancement of trade including the possibility of duty reduction on some specific items, welcoming of Turkish investments in SEZ and High Tech Parks in Bangladesh. They also agreed to hold the next sessions of JEC (Joint Economic Commission) and FOC (Foreign Office Consultation) in Dhaka at the earliest.
Govt. urges international community to do more for Rohingyas
The government on Sunday called on the international organisations including the UNHCR to be more active to ensure all inhabitable arrangements and fundamental rights for the Rohingya people forcibly displaced from Myanmar. Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus made the call at a meeting with Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Heads of delegations of various international organizations held at the Prime Minister’s Office. Dr Ahmad Kaikaus presided over the meeting that was convened to discuss the issue of Rohingya issue, deputy press secretary to the Prime Minister KM Shakhawat Moon said. The meeting was informed that the government has taken initiative to shift more 80,000 Rohingyas staying at various camps in Cox’s Bazar to Bhashanchar within the shortest possible time. READ: 2 Rohingyas killed in landslide at Rohingya camps In this regard, the meeting was also informed that more than 18,000 Rohingyas have already been taken to Bhashanchar, while process are on to shift more Rohingyas soon. At the meeting, the principal secretary said that the government is doing everything possible to ensure all basic needs of the Rohingyas including better liveable places for them. PMO Secretary Tofazzal Hossain Miah and Secretaries concerned attended the meeting. READ: NUG must appoint an ethnic Rohingya envoy to implement new policy: Fortify Rights Besides, Ambassadors and High Commissioners of various countries including USA, UK, Japan, Australia, France, Canada and the Netherlands as well as Heads of delegations of international organisations like European Union and UNHCR joined the meeting.