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FM fears ‘pockets of radicalism’ if Rohingya issue lingers

Published : Monday, 11 February, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 704
Diplomatic Correspondent

Expressing fear and caution over the delay in the Rohingya repatriation process, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has said the situation may encourage creating pockets of radicalism and that may create problems of uncertainty and instability for the entire region.

"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.

The Foreign Minister expressed such a caution for the second time in last one week. He was addressing the inaugural session of a seminar on Human Rights at InterContinental Hotel in the capital on Sunday. United Nations Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo, and US Ambassador in Dhaka, among others, spoke.

He said Rohingya must go back to their homes, the earlier the better and the global leadership must come forward to resolve this crisis at its root, not in Bangladesh. Replying to a question, Foreign Minister Momen said Bangladesh a big example of valuing human rights by sheltering Rohingyas. 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 the Second World War," 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.

Referring to Bangladesh's achievement in the areas of core HR issues, the Foreign Minister said many people in Bangladesh have relatively very much weak conception about the human rights which needs to be changed.
"Nearly 1.2 million Rohingya or 'displaced residents' of Rakhine province being sheltered in Bangladesh now," he said.

On safe zone for Rohingyas, he said they are giving the proposal of creating safe zone in Rakhine for Rohingyas originally floated by the Prime Minister. However, there is a trust deficit, Myanmar could agree on the proposal of creating safe zone if other countries ask them.

Sharing the idea of "Safe zone foe Rohingyas" the Foreign Minister said the safe zone for Rohingyas in Rakhine can be created under the supervision of India, China and members Asean countries as Myanmar has much confidence on these countries. "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, DrMomen said, are stateless people, they 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," he mentioned.

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