Cox’s Bazar – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday urged Myanmar to take its people back to their homes as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims crossed into Bangladesh fleeing violence in Rakhine State.
“We have arranged shelters and food for those now in danger on humanitarian ground, but Myanmar has to take them back,” the Prime Minister told a rally after visiting Kutupalong Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar district.
Hasina, who inquired into the conditions of those arrived recently in the camp, said Bangladesh faced a similar situation during its war of liberation. The Pakistani junta set fires to many homes, including that of her family, forcing more than a million people to take refuge in Pakistan.
“I understand the pain of those flee their homes in the face of persecution,” she said adding that her government would do its best to provide food and shelter to those who fled violence in Myanmar until they are able to return to their homes.
An estimated 313,000 Rohingya Muslims crossed into Bangladesh after the violence began in Myanmar’s restive Rakhine State on August 25. The Burmese army say it launched a ‘clearance operation’ to flush out the Rohingya insurgents who allegedly attacked army post and army bases.
The clashes and counter clash left 400 people killed as per the official counts, but the Rohingya leaders say the army killed more than 3,000 civilians.
Tens of thousands of refugees, who crossed the border, have been staying along roadsides and in nearby forests and hills. Many others were still on their way to Bangladesh.
Prime Minister Hasina, who plans to raise the Rohingya issue in the United Nations, flew to Cox’s Bazar in the morning to see on the ground the refugee influx. After talking to a number of Burmese people through translators, Hasina addressed the gathering inside the Kutupalong camp.
“It is difficult, but we have arranged shelters for you on humanitarian ground at the best of our capacity, we will be by the side of you,” Hasina told the gathering.
She reiterated her called to the international community to mount pressure on the Myanmar government so that its army stop the atrocity, they take the Rohingya back to their home and treat as Myanmar citizen with all the rights they are entitled.
“Bangladesh is a peace loving country and always wants friendly relations with neighbuors. But, we cannot tolerate any injustice,” she added.
“Myanmar must repatriate its nationals”.
After finishing her speech, Hasina distributed relief goods, mainly packets-full of food and cloths, among the newly arrived refugees. She gave those uprooted people patience hearing on the podium to get an idea about the real situation in Rakhine.
Bangladesh has now been hosting more than 700,000 undocumented Rohingya Muslims on humanitarian ground. Among them 400,000 were away by Burmese military in the 1990s.