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Solution to Rohingyas lies within Myanmar, says Bangladesh FM

Bangladeshi Foreign
Minister Dipu Moni.
JEDDAH: IRFAN
MOHAMMED
Arab News:
May 6, 2013
The solution to end
the violence that has led to thousands of Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar for
Bangladesh rests with the Myanmar government, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu
Moni told Arab News in an exclusive interview yesterday.
She said her country
has raised the plight of Myanmar refugees in the OIC and the UN, but the issue
is an internal matter that only Myanmar is able to solve. “(The) solution lies
where the problem exists, and the solution has to be found within Myanmar.”
The Rakhine state
of Myanmar has been wracked by sectarian violence. An estimated 500,000 Muslim
refugees have crossed the border into Bangladesh, but only 29,000 are in the
country legally. Rohingya Muslims have been the target of Buddhist-led attacks
and their killings have been described by human rights organizations as ethnic
cleansing.
Moni said the
continuing attacks have taken a financial toll on Bangladesh since the influx
of Burmese refugees has continued for the last three decades. She said her
country is providing health care and education to all refugees.
She added that
although her country is not a signatory to the convention relating to the
status of refugees, Bangladesh has taken a humanitarian approach to the Burmese
refugee problem.
“With our tragedy in
1970, where 10 million Bangla-speaking refugees took shelter in India, we have
suffered enough and can understand the plight and pain (of the refugees),” Moni
said.
At entry points
where refugees have been denied entry, the Dhaka government provides fuel for
boats and food while the government continues to negotiate with Myanmar.
Moni said
Bangladesh is willing to handle the rehabilitation of refugees upon their
return to the co untry.