Dhaka – The mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar has caused huge damage to nature and livelihood of local people living in Bangladesh’s south-eastern district of Cox’s Bazar, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Wednesday.
State-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha news agency reported from parliament that the Prime Minister made the observation while responding to question from lawmakers during the Prime Minister’s Question Time.
Responding to a supplementary question from Abdur Rahman Bodi, a lawmaker from Cox’s Bazar where hundreds of thousands persecuted Rohingya Muslims sheltered, the Prime Minister said her government took measures to this end.
The government has decided to provide food support as well as new occupational opportunities to the local people who are suffering the most because of the Rohingya influx, she said.
Hasina also expressed her firm conviction that her government would be able to resolve the Rohingya crisis peacefully with the help of the international community.
Replying to a question from treasury bench member Md Abdul Matin, the she said the government would take steps for rehabilitation of the local people of the Ukhiya and Teknaf upazilas of the Cox’s Bazar district who lost their livelihood due to the influx of huge number of Rohingya in their localities.
Bangladesh’s diplomatic efforts earned support from international community for repatriation of the Rohingya to their home in the Rakhine state of Myanmar.
“The whole world stood by Bangladesh for the generosity that we have shown to the displaced people, welcoming our steps taken for their shelter,” she said.
Hasina said the international community is working together for repatriation of the Myanmar nationals to their country.
An estimated 617,000 Rohingya Muslims crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar army launched crackdown on suspected Muslim insurgents on August 25. The civilians who crossed the border said that they were persecuted, their homes were burnt to ashes and many Muslims were killed by the army and their Buddhist cohorts.
Bangladesh has been hosting yet another 400,000 Rohingya who were driven away from their homes in Myanmar between late 1970s and early 1990s.