Current News

PM seeks amicable Rohingya solution

Heads
of state and government of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral
Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) countries meet at the Myanmar’s
capital Nay-Pyi-Taw on the eve of Bimstec summit yesterday. Photo: PID


Dhaka
has urged Nay Pyi Taw for an “amicable solution” to take back the
Myanmar refugees from Bangladesh.
Prime
Minister Sheikh Hasina, who reached the Myanmar capital yesterday to attend the
third Bimstec summit, made the call during her meeting with the country’s
president Thein Sein at the Presidential Palace.
According
to official estimate, around 30,000 registered Rohingya refugees and some 3
lakh to 5 lakh undocumented Myanmar nationals are living in Bangladesh. Of
them, a significant number intruded here following persecution during the
previous military rule in Myanmar.
Hasina
also had a meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi, head of Myanmar’s opposition National
League for Democracy, at the parliament and discussed issues of common
interests and concerns of the two sides.
During
the hour-long meeting, the Bangladesh prime minister said the refugee issue
should be resolved through peaceful and amicable talks between the two friendly
countries.
However,
there came no response from the Myanmar president on the issue.
President
Thein Sein told Hasina that Bangladesh could become a partner of an initiative
taken by India, Thailand and Myanmar on establishing road connectivity.
In
response, Hasina said connectivity of this region would considerably improve
with the introduction of the Bangladesh -Myanmar-Kunming (China) road. “It
will also boost trades in the region,” she added.
However,
there was no mention of the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar initiative in the
reports of the state-owned BSS and private UNB news agencies.
Leading
a 54-member delegation, Hasina is due to address the Bimstec summit today and
on the sidelines she will hold bilateral meetings with the president of Sri
Lanka, and prime ministers of India, Nepal and Bhutan.
Briefing
reporters after the meeting with Myanmar president, Hasina’s Special Assistant
Mahbubul Hoque Shakil said the two leaders laid importance on peace and
stability of the region, reports BSS.
The
prime minister reiterated that her government would continue to show zero
tolerance to terrorism. “Bangladesh’s soil would never be let used for
terrorist activities against the country or against any of its friends,”
she said.
She
identified poverty as the “main and common enemy” of the region and
stressed the need for inter-state connectivity for the development of the
people of the region.
“The
countries of this region will be economically strengthened further and mutual
trade and business enhanced through regional connectivity,” she said,
adding that the people would ultimately be benefited.
Hasina
also said Bangladeshi entrepreneurs were interested to invest in Myanmar,
particularly in agro-processing industries. The two leaders emphasised boosting
bilateral trade.
The
prime minister invited the Myanmar president to Bangladesh and the latter
accepted it. The president said he would visit Dhaka at a convenient time.
MEETING
WITH SUU KYI
The
PM’s special assistant told reporters that in the meeting Suu Kyi said both —
Hasina and herself — had to cross a long path of struggle and movements for
democracy.
She
said Bangladesh had set an example in developing the fate of the poor,
particularly of the rural women and children. Myanmar can follow Bangladesh as
it had become an inspiration in alleviating poverty.
The
icon of democracy lauded the role of Hasina for the development of women and
children and said “One house, One farm”, “Ghorey Fera” and
“Asrayan Project” were some remarkable examples of her government,
which played a significant role in poverty reduction. Such projects were
inspiration for any country, she added.
In
response, Hasina said her government had emphasised developing the fate of the
rural women and children to ensure their economic emancipation.
Suu
Kyi also introduced to Hasina “Saving Box” programmes in her
electoral areas which were inspired by Bangladesh.
Sheikh
Hasina also had meeting with Speaker of Myanmar parliament Shwe Mann and
discussed issues related to strengthening democracy in both the countries.
In
the evening, she along with other participating heads of governments / states
joined the dinner hosted by the Myanmar president at Myanmar International
Convention Centre.
State
Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam, Ambassador at-Large M Ziauddin,
Secretary to Prime Minister’s Office Abul Kalam Azad, Foreign Secretary
Shahidul Haque, and Bangladesh Ambassador to Myanmar Anup Kumar Chakma were
also present at Haisna’s meetings.