Hasina urges India, others to help resolve Rohingya crisis

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Dhaka, April 30 (IANS) Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday urged India, China, Russia and Japan to provide major support to its efforts to resolve the Rohingya crisis.

“We expect India, China, Russia and Japan to play major roles in resolving the crisis,” Hasina said in a meeting with the UN Security Council delegation led by its current President Gustavo Meza-Cuadra.

She called on the international community to put pressure on Myanmar over the Rohingya issue and spoke of meeting representatives of India, China, Thailand, Laos and other countries neighbouring Myanmar on the crisis, bdnews24.com reported.

Myanmar should move forward with the repatriation of the refugees according to its agreements with Bangladesh, said Hasina.

Over 1.15 million registered Rohingyas have been residing in the southeastern part of Bangladesh, known as the Cox’s Bazar region, after they fled Myanmar’s Rakhine to escape a military crackdown on their villages in August.

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The Rohingya refugees alleged that the Myanmar military engaged in killings, rape and the burning of their villages. The UN described the military’s actions as “ethnic cleansing”.

Myanmar, facing international pressure, came to an agreement with Bangladesh on repatriation in December. However, the repatriation process is yet to begin.

The UNSC delegation came to Bangladesh to inspect the Rohingya refugee camps and hear the refugee accounts.

The US representative to the Security Council, Kelly Currie, said Hasina had set “new humanitarian standards for the international community by giving refuge to the Rohingyas”.

Chinese and Russian representatives to the Security Council said their countries would expand their support in resolving the crisis.

Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, earlier called “the Rohingya influx from Myanmar to Bangladesh a serious common security challenge for the entire region”.

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Hasina’s press aide Ihsanul Karim said “the Prime Minister does not want conflict and is looking for a peaceful resolution to the crisis”.

The Prime Minister also expressed concern for the Rohingyas in view of the coming monsoons and ordered new homes to be built for them on a nearby island called Bhasan Char, according to an official in Bangladesh’s Ministry of Information.

–IANS

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