After visiting refugee camps that has absorbed some of the hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas who fled recent ethnic violence in Myanmar, the Bangladeshi prime minister on Sheikh Hasina urged Myanmar to stop violence and “take steps to take their nationals back.” She further assured all temporary aid until that happened.
An estimated 370,000 Rohingya refugees who have fled across the border in recent weeks in response to a violent crackdown by the Burmese military.
“We will not tolerate injustice,” Hasina said at a rally at the Kutupalong refugee camp, near the border town of Ukhiya in Cox’s Bazar district, adding “no words were enough to express her condemnation of Myanmar.”
Hasina also said Bangladesh can feed 700,000 Rohingya refugees.
“We have the ability to feed 160 million people of Bangladesh and we have enough food security to feed the 700,000 refugees,” the prime minister said.
Bangladesh wants to maintain peace and good relations with its neighbouring countries, but it cannot accept unjust acts of the Myanmar government. We will do all we can to ease the suffering of the Rohingya refugeesSheikh Hasina, Bangladesh Prime Minister
“What are the crimes of the women, children, the innocent people? They are not responsible,” she said.
She also directed the local government to make sure the sick and wounded Rohingya were well taken care of in the hospitals and they receive immediate medical attention.
“We have let the Rohingya in on humanitarian grounds and I ask the people of this country to help ease their suffering in whatever way they can,” Hasina added.
Meanwhile, the UN security council will hold an urgent meeting on Wednesday to discuss what the organisation’s top human rights official has called a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.
Rohingya’s are an ethnic Muslim group who have lived for centuries in the majority Buddhist Myanmar. Violent attacks by Myanmarese armymen have led to an exodus of Rohingya Muslim tribals from the western Rakhine state in that country to India and Bangladesh. Currently, there are about 1.1 million Rohingya Muslims who live in the Southeast Asian country. The Rohingya speak Rohingya or Ruaingga, a dialect that is distinct to others spoken in Rakhine State and throughout Myanmar. They are not considered one of the country’s 135 official ethnic groups and have been denied citizenship in Myanmar since 1982, which has effectively rendered them stateless.