Monday, 06 July 2020

Chittagong, Bangladesh: Bangladesh has requested China and sought its cooperation to impress upon Burmese authorities to quickly take back the Arakanese Rohingya refugees living in camps under Cox's Bazar district, according to United News of Bangladesh (UNB).

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni made the request during bilateral meeting with her Chinese counterpart in Beijing.

The FM only talked about 28,000 registered Arakanese Rohingya refugees who are staying in two camps (Nayapara and Kutupalong) in Cox's Bazar while another around 400,000 unregistered Arakanese Rohingyas live in border areas, sources said.

"This has created a huge burden on us," she said while addressing a press briefing on the Prime Minister’s state visit to China.

On other hand, Food Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque said on March 18, a section of foreign media are publishing wrong stories about Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh such as using objectionable words like crackdown, although any such incident has never ever occurred while he met UNHCR representative, Craig Sanders, in Dhaka at his office.

The UNHCR representative agreed that foreign media reports about Rohingyas in Bangladesh are not correct, and appreciated the government management and services at refugee camps in Cox's Bazar.

The minister said that the authorities were trying to identify the NGOs involved in such activities. “We have asked the NGO Bureau to investigate the matter and take action.”

He also asked the UNHCR should take immediate action to solve the Rohingya problem as Bangladesh has not been carrying this burden for a long time.

“International agencies, including UNHCR, are creating pressure on the government for registering more Rohingyas living outside the camps. We, being a poor nation cannot give shelter to so many refugees and therefore want their repatriation to their homeland,” Razzaque said after a meeting with UNHCR Bangladesh representative Craig Sanders at the secretariat.

Replying to Sanders' request to register the unregistered Rohingyas, Razzaque said any initiative to register them encourages them to enter Bangladesh, as they think international organizations will help them or resettle them in some developed countries.

During the Prime Minister of Bangladesh including Foreign Minister Dipu Moni’s visit to China, they talked about building a deep seaport; to boost trade and investment between their respective countries and the Kunming-Chittagong road and rail links through Burma including raising the Rohingya problem, according to sources.

China gave a very positive and encouraging response to Bangladesh's proposals on building a deep seaport and the Kunming-Chittagong road and rail links through Burma, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said.

She also said if the deep seaport is built, China will also get benefit out of it and the cost of Chinese products would be less because of smaller distance.

On removing the trade gap, the Foreign Minister said the matter was discussed during the official meeting when the Chinese side expressed willingness to provide duty-free access to more Bangladeshi products and increase in the volume of import from Bangladesh.