WASHINGTON: Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said the World Bank was urged for support in sending Rohingyas back to Myanmar, their home country, from Bangladesh in the fastest way by any means. The global financial organization’s response in this regard is positive.
“The Rohingyas, who have taken refuge in Bangladesh, have no choice but to return to their homeland. The World Bank can play a big role in Rohingya repatriation”, the Minister said this during a roundtable meeting on the Rohingya refugees at the World Bank's headquarters in Washington on Saturday (October 19).
The meeting was attended by Vice President of the World Bank's South Asia Region Hartwig Schafer, Bangladesh’ Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Monowar Ahmed and Finance Secretary Abdur Rauf Talukder.
In the meeting that lasted for a few hours, Bangladesh called on the World Bank to play a vital role in building public opinion in the world on how the Rohingyas can be repatriated to their home country in a quick time.
Responding to the call of Bangladesh, the World Bank has expressed a positive note, the minister said.
After the meeting, AHM Mustafa Kamal said that Bangladesh faced huge damage for Rohingya settlements. That’s why I told the World Bank to take initiative to take back their (Rohingya) country to Myanmar.
'There is no alternate action, just take them back. We believe that the World Bank can make a positive result by talking to the world. Myanmar will take them but we want a timeline for when. Hopefully this timeline will come soon. ”
He said that if the Rohingyas are to be sent to their own country, support of everyone needed. However, no one has disagreed that they (Rohingya) will not go to Myanmar. Good relations with all of them. Everyone agrees to send Rohingyas to Myanmar.
Mustafa Kamal said that the Rohingyas, who have escaped death, are being given shelter in Bangladesh on humanitarian grounds. Rohingya settlements have severely damaged biodiversity and depleted over 8,000 acres of reserved forest in Cox’s Bazar. This is increasing our social and climate challenges.
'The damages we have including social bonds cannot be quantified in dollars or money. So this is our main demand for the Rohingya to return to their homeland. ”
"We are not thinking about the financial support of the World Bank or any other development partner here. We are thinking of their repatriation, because there is no alternative to their return to their country”.
“Hopefully the World Bank will talk to everyone and give us a good solution. The world community has agreed with us on this. China, India and Japan each are major factor. As a result, nothing can be done without them. We believe that they will discuss everything and make decisions”, he added.
The finance minister said, "We have not spoken to the World Bank about funding or grants for any project for the Rohingyas. We have not said this time. It is done by the World Bank itself; we want the Rohingya to go back to Myanmar. The World Bank will work for the repatriation of Rohingyas.
BDST: 1424 HRS, OCT 20, 2019