Myanmar must take its citizens back, says PM | 2017-09-12 |

JS resolution over Rohingya crisis

Myanmar must take its citizens back, says PM

Sun Online Desk     12th September, 2017 12:50:15 printer

Myanmar must take its citizens back, says PM

Mentioning that Bangladesh has given shelter to the Rohingyas on humanitarian grounds, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday categorically said Myanmar has to take back its citizens.


Taking part in the general discussion in Parliament on a resolution urging the United Nations and the world community to exert strong pressure on Myanmar to take Rohingyas back from Bangladesh, she also said the Myanmar government has to create a safe zone, if necessary, to give them a secure atmosphere.


Awami League MP Dr Dipu Moni, also former foreign minister, placed the resolution in the House which was adopted unanimously by voice votes, UNB reports.


"Let me say it clearly that they (Rohingya refugees) are the citizens of Myanmar. Those are taking shelter in Bangladesh have to be taken back by Myanmar," the Prime Minister said.


Talking about the torture on the Rohingya people in Rakhine State by Myanmar military forces, she said it is not acceptable at all to oppress the children and women in the name of containing insurgency.

"I have no word to condemn the atrocities."


Mentioning that it is Myanmar which created the Rohingya crisis, she said they have to resolve the problem, offering any sort of assistance to the neighbour.


The Prime Minister also said the recommendations of the Kofi Annan Commission will have to be implemented to resolve the problem.


"They (Myanmar government) allowed the Kofi Annan Commission to enter and work in their country. Then why won't they accept the recommendations of the Commission? If they have any objection, there can be discussion to sort it out," she added.


She said Bangladesh gave shelter to the Myanmar refugees on humanitarian grounds. "We haven't done this considering them as Muslims or Hindus. We just consider them as human beings," she said.


Issuing a note of warning to the vested quarter who is trying to gain profit politically or financially from the crisis, Hasina said, "Please, don't try to take political or financial benefits from this. If we can feed the country's 16 crore people, we can feed some five lakh Rohingya refugees as well and we'll do our best."


Regarding the identification of the Rohingya refugees, she said every refugee has to be enlisted with their names, photographs and addresses.


About the remarks of Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi on the Rohingya issue, the Prime Minister expressed her doubt about her control in the Myanmar government.


She also said she will raise the issue at the upcoming UN General Assembly.


Participating in nearly three-hour long general discussion, both treasury bench and opposition MPs proposed creating a safe zone for the Rohingya people inside Myanmar under the supervision of the United Nations and implementing the Kofi Annan Commission's recommendations properly.


Opposition Leader in the House Raushon Ershad suggested the government keep all the Rohingyas in a single place so that they cannot spread.


"They (Rohingyas) are our guests. We'll provide them food and treatment. It doesn't mean they won't go back to Myanmar. If the Kofi Annan report is implemented properly, there'll be a solution," she said.


Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said the whole international community has become very vocal on the ongoing Rohingya crisis as Bangladesh has carried out effective diplomatic efforts over the last few years. "We've been continuing diplomatic efforts for the last few years (on Rohingya issue). That's why the whole international community stood by us and termed the violence in Rakhine state genocide," he said.


Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said a safe zone should be created for the Rohingyas in Arakan under the supervision of the United Nations.


Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon said, "I don't call it violence, rather it is genocide and ethnic cleansing."


Jasod MP Mainuddin Khan Badal urged the world community to create a safe zone in Rakhine under the supervision of the United Nations.


Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu, AL MPs Abdul Matin Khasru, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Dr Mahiuddin Khan Alamgir, Hasan Mahmud, Shaimum Sarwar Kamal, ATM Abdul Wahab, Jasod MP Shirin Akter and Tarikat Federation chairman Syed Nazibul Bashar Maizvandary also joined the discussion.


Dipu Moni in her resolution said, "The United Nations and the world community should be urged to exert strong diplomatic pressure on the Myanmar government for stopping ongoing persecution of the Rohingya minority community, refraining from pushing Rohingyas into Bangladesh by ousting them from their homeland, ensuring safe accommodation for the Rohingyas by taking them back to Myanmar with their rights to citizenship."


She said the Rohingya people are historically Myanmar's nationals. "They have been living for more than 500 years in Arakan State (now Rakhine). It had been Muslim empire in the 14th and 15th centuries. Some 16 Muslim emperors ruled Arakan in between 1404 to 1612," said Dipu Moni, also the chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Ministry.


Placing the resolution under the provision 147 (1) of the Rules of Procedure, she also said thousands of Rohingyas have taken shelter in Bangladesh crossing the border as the ongoing persecution of the minority community turned acute in Rakhine state of Myanmar.


Dipu Moni said the Rohingya people had citizenship and franchise in Myanmar in the past, but the Myanmar government snatched their citizenship in 1982. Four Rohingya MPs were elected even in the early 1990s in Myanmar.