Prime Minister and Leader of the House Sheikh Hasina on Thursday told parliament that Myanmar must take their nationals back and they could not deny the citizenship of Rohingya refugees.
“I hope that Myanmar will wake up and take necessary measures to take their nationals back immediately. Just after the attack by a group of insurgents on border police that killed border police and military personnel, the Myanmar army attacked the innocent people over there,” she said.
The prime minister further said that the real culprits behind the August attack needed to be found, as she expressed her confusion at the persecution of innocent Rohingya Muslims.
“I went there. I have witnessed their miserable condition. I saw that most of them are children, women and old people. I saw that not only the poor people, but many service-holders from affluent families were forced to flee their homeland,” she added, saying the atrocities in the Rakhine state reminded her of the attack on Bangladesh by Pakistan in 1971, when 10,000,000 Bangladeshis sought refuge in India.
“Remembering those days, we allowed them (the Rohingya) to take shelter here on humanitarian grounds. But space is inadequate,” Sheikh Hasina said.
The prime minister also recounted some of the heart wrenching tales she had heard from the refugees during her visit on Tuesday. “A boy, with scar, told me that his father, mother and three sisters were killed before his eyes. He fled to Bangladesh with his grandfather and grandmother,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina also drew attention to the mounting international pressure on Myanmar to end the violence, citing visits by delegations from 45 countries to the Rohingya refugee camps, as well as a phone call from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Myanmar counterpart Suu Kyi where he urged her to end the conflict.
“The UN Security Council has also urged Myanmar to stop atrocities and praised Bangladesh’s role in giving shelter to the victim of massive persecution in Myanmar,” the Bangladesh prime minister added.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Hasina also said that a relief coordination committee headed by a deputy commissioner had been formed in Cox’s Bazar, and any relief had to be handed to them for distribution.
Regarding biometric registration of the Rohingya refugees, the prime minister said Rohingya refugees would be granted ID cards that are coloured differently from those given to citizens
Furthermore, she said that she would discuss the possibility of making temporary camps in Thengar Char with the Navy chief.