Dhaka, Bangladesh
Extremism may sweep region if crisis lingers

Safe zone for Rohingya a must

Extremism may sweep region if crisis lingers

FM says, seeks help of China, India, Asean bloc

News Report : Dhaka seeks support of the regional players in geopolitics for creating a 'safe zone' in the Rakhine state of Myanmar for the Rohingyas to resolve the crisis, which holds a potential to explode. The call came Sunday from Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, who specifically named China, India and the Asean as a bloc of Southeast Asian nations who should play their due role for their proximity, as any cascading adversities would affect them, too. "Extremism may sweep across the region if the crisis lingers," said the new FM, just back from India in his maiden tour abroad after takeover. "My fear is that, if this problem lingers for a longer time, it may encourage creating pockets of radicalism and that may create problems of uncertainty and instability not only for Myanmar and Bangladesh but for the entire region," he said at a seminar in Dhaka. Therefore, Dr Momen said, the Rohingya must go back to their homes--the earliest, the better--and the global leadership must come forward to resolve this crisis at its root, not in Bangladesh. "Bangladesh seeks your proactive cooperation in resolving this matter of grave concern." Foreign Minister Momen told the function that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has saved the face of the global leaders from "ignominy and disgrace" by sheltering the persecuted people of Rakhine province of Myanmar. "If she wouldn't have given them shelter, it would end up with the gravest and worst genocide of the century since WWII," he said, urging the world leaders to show genuine commitment to human-rights values by sending them back to their place of origin with safety and dignity. Terming Bangladesh a big example of valuing human rights by sheltering Rohingyas, he said allowing Rohingyas to go back to their place of origin in Myanmar with freedom of movement and other basic human rights would be the best way of showing respect to human rights. The foreign minister was addressing the inaugural session of the seminar on Human Rights at Inter- Continental Hotel in the city. United Nations Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo, among others, also spoke. The minister told his audience that there are nearly 1.2 million Rohingya or 'displaced residents' of Rakhine province being sheltered in Bangladesh now. "They need to be repatriated with safely and security at the earliest. Their exodus was created by Myanmar and it is their responsibility to solve it," he said. These Rohingyas, Dr Momen said, are now stateless people. They had lived in Myanmar for centuries and Myanmar itself, a State - is failing to fulfill its obligations and responsibilities towards its own people. He reminded that unless Bangladesh stands like a solid-rock to end atrocities and the worst form of human rights violation termed by UN High Commissioner of Human Rights as 'classic example of ethnic cleansing' and by others as 'genocide' in Myanmar, their efforts will never be of much value. He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina through sheltering these persecuted people has become a 'role model of humanity', and a 'leader of the world in protecting human rights and values'. "No wonder, the UN members overwhelmingly voted Bangladesh again into its Human Rights Commission," the foreign minister mentioned. (Inputs taken from UNB, media reports)

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