She wants more int’l pressure on Myanmar to take back Rohingyas
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said Bangladesh wants to bring back BNP’s acting chairperson Tarique Rahman from the UK as he is convicted by Bangladeshi court, Agencies report.
“We’re in talks with British government about it. And definitely we’ll take him back one day and he’ll have to face the court,” she said.
The Prime Minister said this while answering questions at an event titled ‘Bangladesh’s Development Story: Policies, Progresses and Prospects’ at Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in London.
She spoke at the programme as the keynote speaker arranged by ODI. Sheikh Hasina said the UK is a liberal country and anybody can take shelter and refuge there. “Tarique is convicted for crimes he committed,” she said.
The Prime Minister also criticised the UK for giving shelter to a convicted person like him.
While responding to a question regarding the repatriation of the Rohingyas from Bangladesh, she said Bangladesh and Myanmar have signed agreements in this regard. “But unfortunately, they’re not taking any initiative, which is the problem.”
Sheikh Hasina said as Myanmar is the next door neighbour of Bangladesh, the government is showing a friendly gesture to it. “Ministers of Bangladesh and Myanmar visited both the countries, and our Foreign Minister had talks with the neighbouring countries of Myanmar like China, Laos and Thailand to have a possible solution to the problem,” she said.
The PM said Myanmar showed their eagerness to take back them but they did not take back any one practically. “That’s why we need more international pressure on Myanmar so that they take back their Rohingya nationals immediately,” she said.
Hasina said the Myanmar government must ensure the safety and the livelihood of the repatriated Rohingyas.
For providing the Rohingyas with a better living place in Bangladesh, the government is arranging accommodation in an island where some 100,000 Rohingyas can take shelter, she said.
Hasina said now the Rohingyas are living in hills which will be dangerous during monsoon. “Accident may take place anytime. It’s not possible to live in there (during monsoon).”
About the recent ‘repatriation’ of a family by the Myanmar government, Hasina said no family was taken from any camp in Bangladesh.
“There’re many Rohingyas living on the border line, Myanmar take back half of a family from the zero line of the border area and other members of that family are living in a Bangladesh camp,” she said.
Hasina mentioned that the Myanmar government perhaps wants to show the world that they are taking back the Rohingyas. “This is a good sign. Why did they take back only one family? We’ve given names of 8,000 families, but they didn’t take them back any of them.”
The Prime Minister, however, appreciated the move of Myanmar and said they should start the full repatriation process.