DHAKA: European Commission (EC) Sunday asked Myanmar to provide citizenship to Rohingya people and ensure their fundamental rights for a sustainable solution to the issue, an EC official said.
European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection office’s Director General Esko Kentrschynskyj said EC as well as the international community have been maintaining contacts to solve the problems of the ethnic community of Myanmar.
The official said this to Bangladesh’s Food and Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzaque during a call on at the latter’s office on Sunday, says a food ministry press release.
The plea came following recent sectarian violence in Myanmar’s Rakhaine State that left dozens of Rohingyas dead. Many tried to enter Bangladesh, but Bangladesh border forces returned them in line with the government policy.
Bangladesh repeatedly and clearly said it could not accept the Rohingyas, saying that sheltering them in Bangladesh would not bring any solution.
It said there are still some 25,000 Rohingyas who took shelters in two refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar two decades back, but are not returning. Besides, nearly 4 lakh unregistered Rohingyas are staying in Bangladesh.
Instead, Bangladesh urged the international community to put pressure on Myanmar for a sustainable solution to the longstanding Rohingya problem.
While talking to Dr Razzaque, Esko Kentrschynskyj said they have already talked to Myanmar’s foreign and social welfare ministries, immigration and border forces on the Rohingya problem.
Esko said they want to make sure that the Rohingya refugees are provided with humanitarian aid including food, nutrition and social security and helped for a sustainable solution.
In the meeting, food minister Abdur Razzak said though Bangladesh has huge population and 31 percent people live below poverty line, the government is trying its level best to ensure humanitarian assistance to the refugees.
Razzak called the delegation led by Esko to deeply engage the international community for repatriation of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
Disaster Management Division Secretary Dr M Aslam Alam, European Commission for Humanitarian Aid Office’s Charge De Affaires Andrew Barnard, its Dhaka office’s technical expert Oliver Brouant and Regional Support Office Head Peter Burgess were also present.
BDST: 2110 HRS, AUG 26, 2012
Edited by: M. Mahbub Alam, Asst Output Editor
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