Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the international community, including the UK, to mount pressure on Myanmar to take back the displaced Rohingya people from Bangladesh.
“International pressure on the Myanmar government should continue, so that Naypyidaw is forced to take back its forcibly displaced Rohingya nationals from Bangladesh,” said the prime minister.
Sheikh Hasina, who took a stopover in London on her way back home from the USA, made the comment when Tariq Mahmood Ahmad, the Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon and also the UK Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, paid a courtesy call to her at the hotel on Friday.
Briefing media, Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim said Sheikh Hasina also sought support of the international community, including the UK, in shifting the forcibly displaced Myanmar people in Bangladesh to a new location.
She also conveyed her regards to the British prime minister through Lord Ahmad.
The UK state minister praised the people of Bangladesh and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for saving the lives of tens of thousands of Rohingya people by giving them shelter.
Terming the influx of Rohingya people into Bangladesh a humanitarian crisis, Lord Ahmad said the UK government will pledge 30 million pounds in support of the refugees.
“We [UK] are keen to continue support for the displaced Rohingya people in Bangladesh,” he added.
Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK Nazmul Qaunine was present during the courtesy call.
Rohingya crisis will not affect Bangladesh’s progress
Reiterating that Bangladesh always tackles its problems head on, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has assured that the country will continue to make great strides in development, despite the recent influx of Rohingya refugees.
She made the remarks while exchanging views with Awami League leaders based in the UK and other European countries on Thursday. Her Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
“We, the Bangali nation, fought and liberated the country at the call of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. We do not falter in the face of a problem, we tackle them head on,” the prime minister said in the meeting.
Hasina also added that discussions with Myanmar over resolving the Rohingya crisis has made significant progress, following the recent visit of its Minister of the Office of State Counsellor Kyaw Tint Swe to Bangladesh.
Speaking about the plight of Rohingya people, Hasina said: “We cannot throw them [the Rohingya] out into the Bay of Bengal. If we could feed 16 crore people, we can also feed an additional five to seven lakh people at their time of distress.”
She later called upon the expatriate leaders of Awami League and its associate organisations to work together for achieving another landslide victory in the next general elections.