Dhaka engaged with China to resolve Rohingya crisis

State minister for foreign affairs M Shahriar Alam on Sunday said Dhaka is continuously engaged with China to create more pressure on Myanmar for creating conducive atmosphere inside Rakhine ensuring safe repatriation of forcefully displayed Rohingyas from Bangladesh, reports BSS. “We are continuously engaged with China (to create pressure on Myanmar),” he said at a seminar in the capital.

Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) organised the seminar titled “Rohingya crisis: International Role for Tangible Solutions in Rakhine” at Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS). Terming Rohingya crisis as not only a humanitarian issue, also a political one, the state minister said “At the security council in the UN we didn’t get China and Russia the way we want them to be on our side (regarding Rohingya issue).”

However, Shahriar said Dhaka is bilaterally engaged with China and Russia to get their supports in this regard. “Our foreign minister had visited Beijing and held meeting with his Chinese counterpart where the Myanmar minister in charge of Rohingya related issue was also invited,” he said. The state minister informed that multiple visits were made by Chinese politicians and bureaucrats to Myanmar for talking about the Rohingya issue.

“Through our efforts, there are now wider, greater and deeper understanding by the Chinese side about the problem,” he said adding “I hope, with these (bilateral) efforts, we will be able to make some dent into their (China and Russia) current positions.” Replying a question, the state minister said that the Rohingya repatriation issue is not out of focus. “We will continue our efforts and I believe we are on the right track,” he said.

About relocation of some 100,000 Rohingya to an island named Bhashanchar, the state minister said “The UN is not against Bhasanchar.” Prof of Dhaka University’s International Relations Imtiaz Ahmed, Foreign Affairs Secretary M Shahidul Haque and UNHCR Representative in Bangladesh Steven Corliss also spoke at the seminar.

Prof Imtiaz suggested putting much emphasis on internationalization of the Rohingya issue in a bigger way. “The body language must change when we’re negotiating with Myanmar, he said. He said International Criminal Court (ICC) and International Court of Justice (ICJ) should be geared up to the maximum level with all kinds of evidence of atrocities committed against Rohingyas in Rakhine for creating tremendous pressure on Myanmar.

He proposed to hold international conferences on Rohingya crisis inviting all concerned countries, international media and human rights organisations.
DCAB President Raheed Ejaz and General Secretary Nurul Islam Hasib also spoke on the occasion. Currently, Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million forcefully displaced Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar district and most of them arrived here since August 25, 2017 after a military crackdown by Myanmar termed as “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” by the UN.