Myanmar should take back Rohingya refugees: Bangladesh envoy

Kolkata: Bangladesh High Commissioner in India Syed Muazzem Ali on Monday expressed concern over the condition of the one million Rohingya refugees staying in Bangladesh and appealed to the Myanmar government to take these people back by giving them citizenship rights and security.

“Nearly one million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar are now staying in Bangladesh. If you do not accept your own people and force them to come to our country… If there is a flare up due to this in our region, all of us will be affected.

“So I request the government of Myanmar to take back their own people and give them their rightful citizenship and give them security. I hope they can live in peace and also let us live in peace,” Ali said while speaking at a seminar on “Bangladesh’s Graduation from LDC: Prospects of Bangladesh-India Economic Engagement” organised by the MCCI.

Pointing out that his country has no bilateral dispute with Myanmar, the Bangladeshi envoy said the Rohingya crisis snowballed after Myanmar refused to accept the residents of their country’s Rakhine State as their citizens.

“We do not have any bilateral dispute with Myanmar. The problem is that Myanmar doesn’t accept the residents of its Rakhine state as Myanmar nationals. But everybody knows who they are and what is their origin,” he said.

Ali said like many other south Asian countries, Bangladesh also faces a number of issues with its population and termed it as one of the most vulnerable countries with regard to natural disasters.

“The magnitude of loss we suffer due to natural calamities like cyclone, is not seen anywhere in the world. So the south Asian countries like Bangladesh have demographic pressure,” he said.

The envoy said the current regime in Bangladesh, under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has shown zero tolerance towards terrorism and terrorist funding after coming to power in 2009, which has successfully reduced terrorist activities in and around the country.