Bangladesh's State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam has expressed optimism that the “pilot project” of Rohingya repatriation would be executed at an early date. He thanked China for its “active role” in a trilateral initiative among Bangladesh, Myanmar and China to provide a platform for dialogue to promote the early return of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas to Myanmar. Newly appointed Ambassador of China to Bangladesh Yao Wen met the State Minister for Foreign Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday (January 22, 2023) afternoon and discussed the issues of mutual interest. Responding to a question on Rohingya repatriation, Ambassador Wen said they have a common objective with Bangladesh regarding repatriation of Rohingyas to their homeland. Also Read: Will continue to work toward resolution of Rohingya issue: Japan He recognised Bangladesh's "sacrifice" in hosting the huge number of Rohingyas and assured of playing its role for their repatriation. “We discussed the issue. You pay a lot. You suffered a lot. You sacrificed a lot. We have the common objective (repatriation),”said Ambassador Wen. Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char and not a single Rohingya has been repatriated over the last six years. The State Minister also highlighted the importance of establishing direct air connectivity and requested the Chinese Ambassador to consider Bangladesh as a suitable place for industry relocation from China, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also Read: Over 3,500 desperate Rohingya attempted deadly sea crossings in 2022 The Chinese Ambassador showed interest to conclude a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on PPP for the growth of bilateral trade and commerce. State Minister Alam hoped that the bilateral relations between the two countries would reach new heights during the tenure of the new Ambassador. Both sides cordially exchanged views on bilateral and multilateral cooperation of mutual interests, including trade and investment, infrastructure development, connectivity and Covid situation. Congratulating the new Ambassador on the Chinese New Year’s Day, the State Minister thanked China for being the largest bilateral trade partner of Bangladesh. Read More: China will remain engaged in Bangladesh’s next stage of development journey: Momen During the meeting, he also thanked the Chinese government for its support in dealing with Covid-19 pandemic and the repatriation of Bangladeshi students from China and their subsequent return to China to continue their higher studies. He wished Ambassador Yao successful tenure in Bangladesh and assured him of full cooperation in discharge of his duties.
Bangladesh has reiterated its call for the repatriation of Rohingyas to their homeland Myanmar in a safe and sustainable manner. "Bangladesh hopes to be relieved from the colossal burden of sheltering displaced Myanmar residents through arranging their long pending safe, dignified, voluntary, and sustainable repatriation to their homeland," said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char. Read: Myanmar's military regime must end its violence, release those unjustly detained: US As a next-door and friendly neighbour, Bangladesh has been committed to developing an amicable relationship with Myanmar, the ministry said. On the occasion of the diamond jubilee of the independence of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the people of Bangladesh extended warm greetings and felicitations to the people of Myanmar and wish them inclusive peace and prosperity. In a message marking the day, the United States said the military regime in Myanmar must end its violence, release those unjustly detained, and allow unhindered humanitarian access. The military regime must recognize the desire of the people for a genuine and inclusive democracy in Myanmar, the US said. On behalf of the United States of America, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken reaffirmed the country's commitment to the people of Myanmar as they mark the 75th anniversary of Myanmar’s independence on January 4.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has urged the Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States (PUIC) delegation members to enhance diplomatic efforts with major powers and ensure safe, dignified and sustained repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar. An 11-member delegation of the PUIC, including members of parliaments from Tukiye, Iran, Uganda and Secretary-General of PUIC, led by Prof Dr Orhan Atalay met Foreign Minister Momen at the State guesthouse Padma on Wednesday. Read more: Bangladesh considering ‘pros and cons’ of Indo-Pacific Economic Framework: Momen During the meeting, the foreign minister deeply appreciated the contribution of the Committee on Muslim Communities and Minorities for portraying the picture of the persecuted Rohingyas to the members of the OIC. The visiting PUIC delegation thanked the Government of Bangladesh for hosting persecuted Rohingyas on humanitarian ground, and reaffirmed their continued support for settlement of the Rohingya crisis. Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar district and Bhasan Char. The visiting PUIC delegation met Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury on December 19. Read more: ‘No reason to worry’ about new US sanctions: Momen The PUIC delegation also visited Rohingya Camps in Cox’s Bazar and had interaction with the Rohingyas as well as related stakeholders on December 20.
Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming on Thursday said China hopes that the repatriation of displaced Rohingya people will start next year. The outgoing Chinese Ambassador expressed the expectation when he paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the latter's official residence Ganabhaban this morning. PM's Deputy Press Secretary KM Shakhawat Moon briefed reporters after the meeting. Read more: No good news yet from Chinese side on Rohingya repatriation: Momen The Prime Minister said Bangladesh has been giving shelter to the forcibly displaced Rohingya people on humanitarian grounds. But they are now burden on Bangladesh for various reasons including food security, she said. Noting that the displaced people are the nationals of Myanmar, Sheikh Hasina said, "Now they should go back to their own country." She hoped that Myanmar would take them the displaced people back to their country. The Prime Minister expressed her satisfaction over the good progress of several China-assisted mega projects for infrastructural development in Bangladesh. She thanked China for its investment in Bangabandhu Tunnel under the Karnaphuli River in Chattogram. She also thanked the President and the Prime Minister of China. Also read: We are promoting grassroots arts and culture: PM Hasina Noting that Bangladesh firmly believes in upholding humanism, friendship and peace, she said Bangladesh wants to maintain friendly relationship with neighbouring countries. The momentum of the Bangladesh-China relationship would continue thriving further in the days to come, she hoped. The Chinese ambassador applauded the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for socioeconomic development in Bangladesh. "It has been possible due to only you," the envoy was quoted. The premier congratulated the outgoing Chinese ambassador for completing his full tenure and appreciated him for his contribution to the Bangladesh-China bilateral relationship. PM's outgoing Principal Secretary Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus was present.
Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki on Monday (November 14, 2022) said it is unlikely to see a full-scale Rohingya repatriation anytime soon due to the situation in Myanmar at this moment. "It'll be very difficult to see repatriation of Rohingyas in full-scale soon. Unless you see the improvement of situation in Myanmar, it'll be very difficult for us to see their repatriation to Myanmar," he said. They Ambassador said Japan is communicating with the Myanmar military and Myanmar needs to halt violence, release detainees and restore the democracy there. He, however, said they may be able to start pilot repatriation at this moment, not full-scale repatriation of Rohingyas to their homeland. Read more: Russian FM Lavrov’s Visit: Dhaka to focus on energy cooperation, Rohingya issue Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char and not a single Rohingya was repatriated over the last five years. "More than five years have passed. The situation is very unfortunate. Repatriation is of course the priority," said the Ambassador, adding that they are ready to work with the government of Bangladesh for repatriation of the Rohingyas. Unfortunately, he said, the situation in Myanmar will not allow the early repatriation of the Rohingyas. The envoy said this is a crucial challenge for the international community. Read more: Bangladesh seeks OIC’s help to continue Rohingya genocide case Japan has been cooperative to Bangladesh government and appreciates its efforts and generosity, he added. The Ambassador was responding to a question at an event titled “Meet the Ambassador” held in a Dhaka hotel. Centre for Governance Studies (CGS) hosted it in collaboration with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Bangladesh. Zillur Rahman, Executive Director of CGS moderated the programme. Read more: EU announces € 3m for Rohingyas in Bhasan Char
The Parliamentary standing committee on the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry recommended putting pressure on the Foreign Ministry for expediting the Rohingya repatriation in an effort to mitigate internal law and order and environmental risks created by hodting the displaced Rohingyas. The recommendation was made at the committee’s 28th meeting held at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban in the capital with its chairman AB Tajul Islam, on Sunday. The committee also held an elaborate discussion on the ongoing projects approved by the committee and its progress and necessary steps about tackling fire incidents, flood risk, lightning and nor’westers. It also suggested taking effective steps so that the ongoing construction work of different bridges and culverts across the country can be visible before the next monsoon. The meeting also stressed the importance of the research of different universities and private research institutes to control lightning and creating public awareness. Secretary to the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry, Director General of the Department of Disaster Management and Relief and official concerned of Bangladesh National Parliament Secretariat were present among others.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said Bangladesh is not in a position to take any more people from Myanmar, emphasizing the repatriation of Rohingyas who took temporary shelter in Bangladesh. In an interview with the Bangla service of Voice of America (VoA) aired on Tuesday, she said Rohingyas should go back to their own country. “It is not possible for us to take any more people,” said PM Hasina describing the burden amid Covid-19 pandemic, Russia-Ukraine war and subsequent sanctions due to which the whole world is suffering. Read: Hasina breaks down in tears while talking about everyday ordeals of Rohingyas Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char and not a single person was repatriated to Myanmar over the last five years. The prime minister described how the prolonged stay of the Rohingyas in Bangladesh destroyed forests in Cox’s Bazar area, caused sufferings of the locals and how many Rohingyas got involved in drug trafficking, arms smuggling, human trafficking apart from getting involved in conflicts inside the camps. “They (Rohingyas) need to go back to their own country,” she said referring to Bangladesh’s repeated calls to the international community for their safe return. “Everyone needs to understand (the situation).” She described how in 1971, during the Liberation War, people from Bangladesh took shelter in India amid Pakistani military’s brutal crackdown. “We saw sufferings (in 1971) with our own eyes,” PM Hasina said, sharing her conversation with her sister Sheikh Rehana before allowing the Rohingyas temporary shelter in Bangladesh amid brutality against them in Myanmar. Read: Bring more women in decision-making leadership for a crisis-free world: PM Hasina Bangladesh has recently sought support and necessary steps from the international community to stop the violence in Myanmar so that it cannot create instability in the region and thus avoid the repatriation of Rohingyas. Bangladesh conveyed its deep concerns on the recent incidents of mortar shells from Myanmar falling and exploding inside Bangladesh territory, indiscriminate aerial firings, human fatalities and serious injuries, damages to the properties and livelihood of the people in the bordering areas to the ASEAN envoys.
Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming has met acting Foreign Secretary Rear Admiral (Retd) Md Khurshed Alam and discussed the ways to repatriate Rohingyas to their homeland as well as the recent tension at Bangladesh-Myanmar border. Talking to a small group of reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after the meeting today, Ambassador Li said they have discussed several issues, including "early repatriation" of the Rohingyas and cooperation between the two countries. Asked whether they discussed the recent border issues with Myanmar, the Chinese envoy said they touched upon the recent developments and the acting foreign secretary did mention that. "That was very unfortunate.....I have no more information,” he said. Talking to reporters, Khurshed Alam said China assured Bangladesh of talking to the Myanmar authorities for ensuring peace along the border. Responding to a question, he said Bangladesh thinks China, as a friendly country of Bangladesh, will convey Bangladesh’s message to Myanmar as China has the leverage. The acting foreign secretary said he briefed the Chinese ambassador on the recent incidents in the bordering areas with Myanmar. He said Bangladesh also urged the Chinese Ambassador to expedite the Rohingya repatriation process which is yet to start. There is a tripartite mechanism involving Bangladesh, Myanmar and China to discuss and find ways to resolve the Rohingya crisis. Last week, Bangladesh sought support and necessary steps from the international community to stop the violence so that Myanmar cannot create instability in the region and thus avoid the repatriation of the Rohingyas. Bangladesh conveyed to the international community that it is working with much patience and tolerance; and Bangladesh did not do anything that might cause Myanmar's mortar shells landing inside Bangladesh — impacting the life and livelihoods of Bangladeshis. Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char.
-The Rohingyas are a “big burden” on Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, and reached out to the international community to ensure their return to their homeland. The PM said that Bangladesh had offered shelter to the Rohingyas when they were in dire need. “But now, they should go back to their country. India as a neighbour can play a major role in it, I feel,” Hasina said in an interview with ANI. She said that the presence of lakhs of Rohingyas in Bangladesh had created challenges for her government. Also read: Repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar ultimate solution: S Korea “For us (Rohingyas are) a big burden. India is a big country… you can accommodate. But in our country... we have 1.1 million Rohingyas… We are consulting with the international community and also our neighbouring countries. They should also take some steps so that they can go back home,” Hasina said. The Bangladesh prime minister said that her government had tried to take care of the displaced community, keeping the humanitarian aspect in mind. “…On humanitarian grounds, we give them shelter and provided everything. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we also vaccinated all the Rohingyas. But how long will they stay here? Due to the camps, there are negative impact on the environment… Some are engaging in drug trafficking and armed conflicts, trafficking women. Day by day it is increasing. The sooner they return home, the better for our country and also for Myanmar. We have been trying our best to pursue them, we’re discussing with them and also the international community, like ASEAN and UN,” Hasina said. During the interview, Hasina was also asked about Bangladesh’s cooperation with India on river water sharing, especially regarding the Teesta river. She said that while there were challenges, they were not anything which could not be resolved mutually. Also read: Requested US, UK, Japan to take Rohingyas from Bangladesh: FM “We are in a... you know... downstream. Water is coming from India, so India should show more generosity. Both the countries will be beneficiaries. Sometimes our people suffer a lot because of water needs… this is especially true for Teesta. I think, it should be solved. We found that the (Indian) Prime Minister is quite eager to solve this problem, but the problem is in your country,” Hasina said.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has urged the Western leaders to impose strong economic sanctions on Myanmar to expedite the Rohingya repatriation efforts. He also urged the ASEAN leaders to strengthen their ongoing efforts to help create a conducive environment within Myanmar to help the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals return to their homeland. Momen made the call while speaking at the 29th Meeting of ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) under the theme "ASEAN ACT: Addressing Challenges Together" held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Friday. He said it is now the fifth year of the Rohingya crisis but not a single forcibly displaced Myanmar national has been repatriated to Myanmar. The Foreign Minister, who led the Bangladesh delegation to the 29th ARF meeting, said strengthening ongoing efforts to help create an environment within Myanmar will encourage the Rohingyas to return. Momen raised the issue of the high foreign direct investment (FDI) Myanmar secured despite the genocide it committed and atrocities it did. Read: Rohingya repatriation: Bangladesh wants more coordinated, proactive support from ASEAN He also pointed out that after the 2017 Rohingya invasion, even the European Union (EU) countries’ trade and investment increased substantially. In terms of foreign direct investment, the EU was the 5th largest foreign investor following other Asian countries, Momen said. He also recalled the history that during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, there was economic sanction on Myanmar and therefore, they repatriated thousands of their nationals in the 1970s and 1990s through dialogue and discussions. Momen said unless economic sanction is imposed on Myanmar, Myanmar is unlikely to listen to world leadership, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Meanwhile, he pointed out that delaying the repatriation process may pose a security threat to the entire region and beyond. He highlighted some key challenges including recurring waves of new variants of Covid -19, global turmoil due to conflict in Europe, climate change, economic recession, and food and commodity crises that can only be adequately and effectively addressed through mutual trust and cooperation underpinned by multilateral arrangements like ARF. Momen said the Bangladesh government is working relentlessly under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to transform Bangabandhu's vision into a reality. On Saturday morning, Momen met Foreign Minister of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos) Saleumxay Kommasith reviewed the whole gamut of the existing excellent bilateral relations. During the meeting, he invited Laos to invest in different sectors, particularly in priority sectors in the Economic Zones, agriculture and ICT sectors of Bangladesh. Momen also proposed the regular exchange of trade delegation and trade related offer in order to create opportunities and potentials for bilateral trade and investment which is essential for both countries. Read: MPs urge ASEAN to put strong pressure on Myanmar He urged the Foreign Minister of Lao PDR to play a more proactive role in bringing a sustainable solution to the protracted Rohingya crisis by initiating a speedy, safe and dignified repatriation of the forcibly displaced people back to their motherland Myanmar. He requested Lao PDR to exert its friendly influence on Myanmar to take its citizens back to Myanmar.