Rohingya crisis not to prolong, though tough: BD

14 Nov,2017


Dhaka, BdChronicle:

There will be a solution to the Rohingya crisis through concerted diplomatic efforts though it does not look an easy job, said State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam on Monday.

“We don’t think this problem will be resolved easily. At the same time, we don’t think that this problem will prolong,” he said adding that they are absolutely under no such illusion of having easy solution to the crisis.

The State Minister was addressing a roundtable titled ‘Rohingya Crisis on Humanitarian Perspective’ arranged by South East Asia Cooperation (SEACO) in the city.

He said the government is pushing for sending Rohingyas back to their homeland safely and with dignity. “They’ll surely take back their [Myanmar] nationals. We keep telling them and we’ll convey our message to Myanmar in a stronger way.”

Appreciating the support the government is getting from the international community, Shahriar said, “We’ve been able to engage the international community fully.”

Citing recent reaction came from the Myanmar side after Security Council Presidential Statement on Myanmar, he said it means their efforts are yielding results and the reaction came as they are getting hurt.

Brushing aside the confusion over India’s support, the State Minister said he does not believe that the Indian External Affairs Minister makes statement only to make Bangladesh happy.

Regarding China’s position, he said all (countries) do not necessarily speak for Bangladesh the way Bangladesh speaks as these countries also have bilateral relations with Myanmar.

Shahriar also explained why Bangladesh is not giving refugee status to Rohingya people. “We aren’t considering giving them the refugee status.”

The State Minister said tomorrow (Tuesday) and this week is extremely important for Bangladesh considering discussion in the UN and visit of a number of foreign ministers, including China.

The foreign ministers will also visit Cox’s Bazar to see the situation on the ground and get a better understanding about the crisis, he said.

Former State Minister for Foreign Affairs Abul Hasan Chowdhury presented the keynote paper in the roundtable chaired by former Foreign Secretary M Mohsin.

ICCB President Mahbubur Rahman, former Foreign Secretary Md Touhid Hossain, former Ambassador Humayun Kabir, SEACO Foundation Executive Chairman Salahuddin Kasem Khan, Chairman of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited Arastoo Khan, Bangladesh Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCCI) President Md Alamgir Jalil and SEACO Foundation Member AKM Nurul Fazal Bulbul spoke at the roundtable moderated by former Principal Secretary and SEACO Foundation Secretary General Md Abdul Karim.

Abul Hasan urged China with which Bangladesh enjoys excellent bilateral relations to take serious notice of the situation.

Noting deep relations between Bangladesh and India, he also sought initiatives to engage India in convincing Myanmar to find a solution.

Touhid Hossain said Rohingyas must be allowed to go back safely and with dignity as Bangladesh wants a peaceful solution.

He said Rohingyas are going to stay in Bangladesh for a quite some time as he does not see any quick solution to the crisis.

Humayun Kabir said this is one of the toughest challenges Bangladesh is facing now and this is going to be a big long-drawn issue without any solution anytime soon.

He also focused on geopolitical importance and described how Myanmar is taking the advantage of geopolitical interest.

Humayun Kabir laid emphasis on utilising the global media as media can play a very strong role.

Terming international civil society a new-found friend, he also stressed utilising the force. “We need to find out who are our friends who are our foes.”

He said a continuous pressure must be exerted on Myanmar. “We should go out and reach out to all.”

About China, he said there are friends who can talk to China and laid emphasis on going for ‘creative diplomacy’ instead of traditional one. 


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