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Dhaka believes India, China can resolve Rohingya crisis: FM

Published : Monday, 20 May, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 288

Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud said on Sunday that Bangladesh has been following the diplomatic path to seek a solution to the Rohingya crisis and believe that the repatriation is the only solution.

"Myanmars internal conflict, which was always there, cannot be an excuse for delaying the Rohingya repatriation," the Foreign Minister said at a discussion titled "Rohingya Crisis: The Future Road Ahead" marking the 45th founding anniversary meeting of Overseas Correspondents Association Bangladesh (OCAB) at Jatiya Press Club.

"Avoiding provocations from Myanmar and other international actors, we always prefer "negotiations" through diplomatic channels, yes, there were provocations from Myanmar and other international actors and we did not step into those provocations. Rather, we have taken the path of negotiations. We believe regional powers like India and China have an important role to play here, I believe we can solve the problem if we can engage them more," the Foreign Minister said.

Former State Minister for Foreign Affairs and member of parliamentary standing committee on foreign affairs Md. Shahriar Alam spoke as the special guest where former OCAB President and UNB Editor Farid Hossain delivered a keynote speech.

Editor of the Daily Observer Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, former JPC president Shawkat Mahmud, BSS Managing Editor Anisur Rahman, Dhaka Universitys International Relations Department Professor Dr. Delwar Hossain, Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies Dr. Md. Touhidul Islam, OCAB General Secretary Julhas Alam, Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) President Syed Shukur Ali Shuvo, and Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) President Nurul Islam Hasib, among others, spoke at the discussion chaired by OCAB President Nazrul Islam.

"If we continue the international pressure and if a positive verdict comes from the ICJ, Myanmar will feel the pressure for repatriation," he said.

In 2019, Gambia, with the backing of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), filed a case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), accusing them of violating the Genocide Convention.
In January 2020, the ICJ adopted provisional orders ordering Myanmar to prevent all genocidal acts against the Rohingya.

Hasan said the number of Rohingyas in Bangladesh is now 1.3 million which might reach 1.5 million soon.

"The Rohingyas in Myanmar are feeling encouraged to come to Bangladesh hearing that there are few opportunities for third country resettlement although such third country resettlement is very few in number but it becomes "counterproductive" as such a message goes to the Rohingyas in Myanmar.

Talking about the current situation inside Myanmar, Hasan said now Myanmars security personnel including the members of the Myanmar army are coming to Bangladesh fleeing Myanmar. The number is now more than 700, he added.

Rohingyas are now snatching jobs from the local people. They are employed in fishing boats, working as rickshaw-pullers and the locals feel threatened. The local people are minority there.  

This year the fund response is better as we have put in much effort. It is a big challenge to get funding as there are other crises in the world like Gaza and Ukraine.

Highlighting the sensitivity of the complex issue, the Foreign Minister  said we should be very careful to publish news or information as its might ay should be provided that might mislead the people.

Focusing on the funding issue, Hasan said the overall funding for the Rohingyas dropped significantly last year but this year we have got better response then earlier.

Taking part in the discussion, Former State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam said Rohingya issue is still alive and it is the challenge for the government of Bangladesh to keep the issue alive as there are crises in other parts of the world.

 Shahriar laid emphasis on the concerted efforts and collective understanding of the situation. "We need to increase our efforts, shout more and engage more in the coming days. We will continue to do that."

He said the international community has collectively failed regarding the Rohingya issue but they cannot continue to fail.

Shahriar said that it is painful to see that the foreign correspondents terming the Bhasan Char, a very noble initiative of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, as a "floating island."

In his key note Farid Hossain said that the Rohingyas are becoming both victims and perpetrators. Mant are falling prey to human traffickers and the incident of desperate men and women trying to escape the camps and travel to other countries. Rohingyas are getting involved in passport and NID scams to embarrassment of the government.

"Rohingya Influx is a long standing challenge for Bangladesh, nowadays under the shadow of Gaza and Ukraine war it failed to catch the eyes of the international community, things are going on but democracy return in Myanmar is not the only solution as we saw the Aung San Suu Kyi political government regime their and follows their activities at ICC court," Editor of Daily Observer and former information adviser Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury said.

He placed two issues there to gear up the issue at the international arena once again.

"Organise an international seminar on Rohingya influx day, where the international organizations, experts, diplomats and UN bodies would take part to discuss the issue and gathered international and political consensus over the Rohingya crisis as its a very complex and critical issue related with geo-politics," the former adviser said.

Dr Delwar Hossain professor of International Relation of Dhaka University has said we need to keep continue the dialogue with the international players to keep alive the Rohingya issue.

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