Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday urged the international community, including the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, to put pressure on Myanmar to take back its Rohingya Muslim minority nationals living in Bangladesh.
She made the plea when UNHCR high commissioner Filippo Grandi met her at her Sangsad Bhaban office.
PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
He said that the prime minister mentioned that the longstanding problem can be solved by ensuring sustainable repatriation of the Myanmar nationals to their homeland.
Hasina put emphasis on creating a congenial atmosphere for the Rohingya people by the Myanmar government.
She said that the Rohingyas had been living an inhuman life in Bangladesh and their sufferings had worsened further with the rainy season.
The prime minister mentioned that these Myanmar nationals were creating pressure on socioeconomic structures of the densely-populated Bangladesh.
Hasina said that her government had identified some island areas and planned to build necessary structures, including shelter, school and hospitals, for the Rohingyas.
She also said that Bangladesh once had insurgency problems in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, but it was solved by bilateral discussions, and then Bangladesh brought back its nationals who had taken refuge in India.
The prime minister also said that Bangladesh had very good relations with all its neighbours including Myanmar and reiterated that her government would not allow anyone to use its soil against the neighbours.
Grandi expressed gratitude to Bangladesh for its sacrifice for the Myanmar Rohinya people. ‘Bangladesh deserves all the appreciations and recognition for what it has been doing for the Rohingya refugees.’
He said his talks with the foreign ministry would continue and he would go to Cox’s Bazar on Monday to see the Rohinya people.
Grandi assured Bangladesh of extending all possible cooperation from the UNHCR in resolving the refugee issue.