Dhaka – Bangladesh has requested Malaysia, one of the Muslims countries in the South East Asia, to mount pressure on Myanmar authorities to create an atmosphere that allows hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims to go back to their home in safety.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina made the request on Thursday when outgoing Malaysian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Nur Ashikin binti Mohd Taib met with her at the Prime Minister’s Office in Dhaka.
Bangladesh sheltered more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims who crossed into Bangladesh fleeing a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar in 2017. They have been living in squalid slums in south-eastern district of Cox’s Bazar.
Naypyidaw and Dhaka in November 2017 signed an agreement for peaceful repatriation of the refugees, but the Myanmar authorities continue dilly-dallying to create an atmosphere for safe and dignified return of the refugees.
Hasina said Bangladesh provided shelter to the displaced people on humanitarian ground, but it is a pressure on the country, informed Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim.
“You can’t keep your eyes closed during such types of humanitarian disasters,” Hasina was quoted as saying.
She said the local people of Cox’s Bazar are suffering a lot due to the exodus of the Rohingya. The Rohingya people are coming afresh to Bangladesh from different countries, including Saudi Arab and India, she added.
Hasina highlighted her government’s plan for temporary relocation of the Rohingya to Bhanshanchar island, saying some 8,000 people are working for constructing shelters in the island.
All facilities, including sweet water would be available in the island, she said, adding that the government is also constructing multi-purpose cyclone shelters in the coastal areas.
The Malaysian envoy termed the prime minister as ‘a person with a very big heart’ for providing shelter to the displaced people.
Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman and PM’s Military Secretary Major General Mia Md. Zainul Abedin were present among others.