Dhaka – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday urged the United Nations to act in such a way so that the Myanmar refugees staying in Bangladesh can be quickly repatriated, reports UNB.
“The UN should act in such a way so that the refugees are repatriated quickly,” she said when outgoing UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Robert D Watkins met her at her office.
PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
The Prime Minister again urged the international community to mount pressure on the Myanmar government to stop the pushing of its nationals from Rakhine state into Bangladesh and take back those already took shelter here.
Saying the Bangladesh government is doing the right thing for the Myanmar refugees on the humanitarian grounds, Robert D Watkins expressed his apprehension that there might be influx of more Myanmar nationals into Bangladesh in the coming days.
The Prime Minister mentioned the miseries and sufferings of the Myanmar refugees, especially women, children and elderly people.
She said the government prepares a list whenever the Myanmar refugees enter Bangladesh.
Hasina said the government has chosen an island, Vashanchar, for the temporary shifting of the Myanmar nationals to give them better help. “The government will arrange makeshift shelter for them,” she said.
Talking about the insurgency problems in the Rakhine state of Myanmar, she posed a question about the supply of money and arms to the insurgents, saying the international community should find out who are providing the terrorists with finance and arms.
About the recent flood, the Prime Minister said her government had necessary preparations to tackle the flood and it is now under control of the government.
She mentioned that the government has been doing everything necessary to mitigate the sufferings of the flood-affected people.
Pointing out the successful handling of the 1998 flood, Hasina said there were international predictions that some 2 crore people would die without food, but it did not happen due to her government’s time-befitting measures during that time.
She said the main aim of her government is to ensure basic needs of the people, particularly those from the grassroots level, and it is doing everything possible to this end.
At the meeting, the UN Resident Coordinator highly appreciated the way Bangladesh is giving shelter to the Myanmar nationals on humanitarian grounds, saying some 126,000 new refugees have so far entered Bangladesh.
He informed the Prime Minister that the UN Secretary General made personal involvement as well as issued several statements over the refugee crisis.
Robert D Watkins said the UNHCR has already offered to assist in the identification process of the Myanmar nationals in Bangladesh which the Prime Minister welcomed with appreciation.
About the flood, he said Bangladesh has a history of resilience to fight against the natural disasters like flood.
PM’s Principal Secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury was present during the meeting.