Dhaka, Sep 12 (IANS) Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday visited Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar district to distribute aid to the displaced people fleeing violence in Myanmar.
Hasina arrived at the district around 11.40 a.m. and inspected the conditions in the camps. She also distributed aid among the refugees, the Daily Star newspaper reported.
The Prime Minister arrived in Cox’s Bazar with Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury, Minister of Housing and Public Works Engr Mosharraf Hossain, State Minister for Land Saifuzzaman Chowdhury, and several others.
Nearly 300,000 Rohingya refugees fled to Bangladesh after the Myanmar Army unleashed a “clearance operation” in Rakhine state in response to attacks by Rohingya militants on security posts on August 25.
Speaking at Cox Bazar, Hasina said: “We gave them (Rohingya refugees) shelter in our country on humanitarian grounds. Our houses were also burnt down in 1971. People fled to India when they had nowhere to go. So we are doing everything in our power to help them.
The Prime Minister slammed Myanmar for forcing out hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas and urged the international community to push Myanmar to repatriate them. “The Rohingya in Bangladesh are being provided with food and shelter. I urge the international community to exert pressure on Myanmar to repatriate the Rohingya. We will fulfil our responsibilities as a neighbour,” she said.
Hasina added: “Does the senseless slaughter in Myanmar not impinge their conscience? The folly of the few is displacing hundreds of thousands. There are many here today who have not seen the atrocities of 1971. But we have, and we will use that memory to ensure the Rohingya suffer no further.”
The country’s Parliament passed a motion on Monday night urging the UN and other countries to mount diplomatic pressure on Myanmar to take back Rohingyas and ensure their safety by giving them citizenship, bbnews24.com reported.
Foreign diplomats working in Dhaka will inspect the situation of the Rohingya refugees on Wednesday, said Foreign Minister A.H. Mahmood Ali.
Nearly a hundred corpses of Rohingyas, including those of children, have washed up in the Naf River between Bangladesh and Myanmar border since the exodus began. Several injured refugees were admitted to hospitals in Chittagong.
The government has also decided to collect biometric data from the refugees for a database.