Dhaka, Bangladesh
Bangladesh can't tolerate injustice to Rohingyas: PM

Bangladesh can't tolerate injustice to Rohingyas: PM

Take back all your citizens, PM asks Myanmar

UKHIYA (Cox's Bazar), Sept 12: Describing the atrocities unleashed by the Myanmar military as 'acts against humanity and violation of human rights', Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said Rohingya refugees are Myanmar nationals and it must take its citizens back, report agencies. She also said Bangladesh wants to maintain peace and good relations with its neighbouring countries, but it cannot accept 'unjust acts' the Myanmar government is committing. She said, "We want peace, we want good relations with our neighbouring countries, but we can't tolerate and accept any injustice." Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh protests these injustice and inhumane attitude towards the Rohingya people in Rakhine state, and renewed her call to the international community to mount pressure on the Myanmar government to take back their nationals. "Myanmar has to take back their nationals, give them a safe place to live in their homeland. The international community should put pressure on Myanmar as they're committing such atrocities on Rohingya people... this has to be stopped," she added. The Prime Minister was speaking while visiting a registered Rohingya camp and distributing relief materials among the Rohingya refugees at Kutupalong Bazar in Ukhia. "Still, the fire is burning there...people can't find out their family members...the bodies of infants and women are floating on the Naf River, these go completely against humanity and are violation of human rights. What sin and crimes these innocent children, women and people have committed...we can't tolerate such activities," the Prime Minister bemoaned. The PM said her government cannot accept the intimidation of women and children in the name of a clampdown on terrorists in Rakhine state. Expressing her profound grief at the sufferings of the Rohingya people, she said the reason for which they were compelled to take refuge in Bangladesh is very unfortunate. The Prime Minister called for creating a 'safe zone', if necessary, inside Myanmar under the supervision of the United Nations to protect the innocent people. "The full implementation of recommendations of the Kafi Annan Commission may help in this regard," she said. Earlier, on her arrival at the Katupalong refugee camp, the Prime Minister saw for herself the condition of the Myanmar nationals staying there. She talked to the Rohingya refugees who fled to Bangladesh following inhuman torture on them and burning of their houses by Myanmar government forces over the last two weeks. The Myanmar refugees burst into tears before the Prime Minister while narrating their sufferings and how they were tortured. Sheikh Hasina said the government will continue to providing food and medical treatment to the Myanmar refugees and there will be no problem in this regard. "We must stay beside the Myanmar refugees and extend all kinds of help to them . . . as long as they don't return to their country we will remain beside them," she said. Sheikh Hasina added: "Bangladesh is a country of 16 crore people and we've ensured their basic needs, we have also a capability to provide all kinds of help including food and healthcare services to the Myanmar refugees." The premier simultaneously renewed her call upon u Page 15 col. 1 Bangladesh can't tolerate injustice to Rohingyas: PM From Page 1 col. 4 international community to mount intensified pressures on Myanmar authorities to stop torture on its ethnic minority population in Rakhaine and take back the Myanmar refugees from Bangladesh. "They (Rakhine refugees) are human beings and they will live as human beings . . . why they will sustain such miseries?" she said. Sheikh Hasina added: "Myanmar has no rights to deny the Rakhaine people as they are their citizens'. . . it will have to provide security to these people so that remain safe in their country," she added. The premier said being a neighbouring country Bangladesh would extend cooperation whatever Naypyidaw needed "but they will have to first stop inhuman attitude towards these people in Rakhaine," she said. Bangabandhu's younger daughter Sheikh Rehana, housing minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, road transport minister and Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader, disaster management minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali, home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, parliamentary chief whip ASM Feroze, state minister for land Saifuzzaman Chowdhury Javed, whip Iqbalur Rahim, AL Joint Secretary Mahbub-ul Alam Hanif were present. Army chief general Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Huq and Sheikh Rehana's daughter-in-law and senior IMO official Peppi Siddiq and lawmakers from the region also accompanied the premier during the visit. Sehikh Hasina drew Myanmar's attention to the fact that the massive exodus of its own population was tarnishing its image saying "this is not a dignified thing for a country" while asking them take back the refugees. She said Bangladesh was faced with protracted insurgency problems in its southeastern hills but it returned 64,000 refugees from India after the landmark 1996 peace agreement. "We hope, Myanmar will take steps for returning back their nationals," she said. The prime minister also requested the local people to look after the Myanmar refugees so that they don't suffer from miseries. "The people in the neighbourhood especially the youths may not recall the Liberation War but we the elderly people still remember that memory. So we expect you to look after them so that they don't feel any pain . . . you will assist them by looking at the humanity," she said. The prime minister mentioned that many international organisations extended their helping hands to the Myanmar refugees while "we have constituted relief committees and they are providing relief goods to the refugees," she said. Besides, the premier said, the ruling Awami League, local administration, army and other law enforcement agencies were providing the humanitarian services to the refugees. Sheikh Hasina said the government was collecting name, address and identity of the Myanmar refugees. "We know their problems and it's our responsibility to look after them . . . that's why we have taken these measures so that live here properly and don't lead an inhuman life," she said. According to the United Nations, over 3 lakh Myanmar nationals belonging to the Rohingya minority group intruded into Bangladesh in the last two weeks after eruption of the latest spate of violence in Rakhine state.

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