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BD wants immediate repatriation of Rohingya: Momen

Says it will submit proposal for creating safe zone in Rakhine

FE Report | February 11, 2019 00:00:00

Bangladesh is set to submit a formal proposal to Myanmar for creating a safe zone for Rohingyas in Rakhine state, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said on Sunday.

"The proposal will be made in line with the idea of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Friendly neighbouring countries like China, India and ASEAN members will act as observers there to ensure safety of repatriated Rohingyas in the safe zone," he told newsmen after delivering his speech at the inaugural session of a seminar on human rights at Inter-Continental Hotel.

Addressing the session, the minister also called upon the international community to stand 'like 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.

He said global efforts to ensure human rights will never be of much value if those who committed atrocities in Myanmar would not be tried.

"Our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina by allowing the persecuted people of Rakhine province of Myanmar has saved the face of the global leaders from ignominy and disgrace. If she wouldn't have given shelter to them, it would end up with the gravest and worst genocide of the century since WWII," the minister said.

"There are nearly 1.2 million Rohingya or 'displaced residents' of Rakhine province being sheltered in Bangladesh now. They need to be repatriated safely at the earliest. Their exodus was created by Myanmar and it is their responsibility to solve it."

These Rohingyas are stateless people, they lived in Myanmar for centuries and Myanmar itself as a state is failing to fulfil its obligations and responsibilities towards its own people, he observed.

"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 also for the entire region."

Underscoring the need for immediate repatriation of Rohingyas to their homeland in Myanmar, Dr Momen said the global leadership must come forward to resolve this crisis at its root, not in Bangladesh.

About the human rights issue he said Bangladesh will take initiatives to develop national policies and strategies aiming at realising fundamental rights and principles as enshrined in the Constitution, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights instruments to which it is a party.

"As per Articles 10 and 28 of the Constitution, the government is fully committed to ensuring 'women's participation in national life' and women's equal rights with men in all spheres of the state and of public life," he added.

Law Minister Anisul Huq and UN Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo were also present at the seminar.


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