Dhaka – Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has sought British support to intensify pressure on Myanmar to repatriate hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who crossed into Bangladesh fleeing violence in Myanmar.
The Prime Minister made the request to the British government when UK Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Tariq Mahmood Ahmad met her in London on Friday.
Hasina is now in Britain on her way to Bangladesh from United States, where she attended the 72nd United Nations General Assembly late last month.
“The international pressure on the Myanmar government will have to be continued,” Hasina was quoted to have said by her press secretary Ihsanul Karim.
Myanmar must take back its displaced nationals, she told the British minister, according to state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha news agency.
Karim said the premier also sought the British as well as other country’s supports for relocating the Rohingya to a Bangladesh’s offshore island from Cox’s Bazar.
More than half a million Rohingya Muslims entered Bangladesh after Myanmar army launched crackdown on suspected Muslims insurgents on August 25 in Rakhine state.
The civilians who crossed into Bangladesh said that the army forced them to leave their homes after they indiscriminately killed many Muslims and burnt down their homes.
Hasina said Bangladesh made makeshift arrangement for shifting Rohingya Muslims to an island called ‘Bhasan Char’ from Cox’s Bazar.
“We need international community’s assistance including that of the UK for their relocation,” she said.
The prime minister informed the British junior minister that her government would also make multipurpose arrangements including education and sanitation facilities for the Rohingya in the island.
She apprised Lord Ahmad of the present state of the displaced Myanmar citizens and highlighted Bangladesh steps to provide shelter, food and medicine for the people in distress.
Hasina recalled that 10 million people from Bangladesh were forced to take shelter in India during the Liberation War when the Pakistani occupation forces launched a massacre in 1971.
The prime minister also said her government brought back 62,000 Bangladeshi refugees from India after signing the landmark peace treaty in 1997.
The British minister the Britain pledged to provide 30 million pounds for Rohingya assistance.
“We’re keen to continue support for the Rohingya people”.