Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said her sister Sheikh Rehana had given her the confidence to shelter and support the displaced Rohingya.
The prime minister said: “Rehana told me that if there is enough food in Bangladesh for 16 crore people, then there is also food for an additional 7-8 lakh people.”
Sheikh Hasina added that these words of encouragement boosted her confidence for sheltering tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees that had fled from Myanmar since August 25.
She was speaking at a reception programme at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, held to mark her return home from a 3-week visit to the USA and UK.
The prime minister further said: “Looking at these destitute people, I had decided that if needed, we will give away a single meal per day, to keep the Rohingya people fed.
"Bangladesh brought the humanitarian crisis to the attention of the international community,” she added.
Regarding Myanmar’s reaction over the Rohingya crisis, Sheikh Hasina said: “They showed us an aggressive attitude, and tried their best to keep the world form noticing the atrocities being committed there.
“I handled the situation with patience, and offered support to the displaced Rohingya to the best of our ability,” she added.
Reiterating Bangabandhu’s teachings on helping the people in need, Sheikh Hasina said: “It is my responsibility to take the right decision at the right time. The decision on how to handle the displaced Rohingyas was such a crucial decision.”
The prime minister then said: “We have sheltered them [Rohingya people], and we will make arrangements to send them back to their country in a dignified way.”
She also confirmed that the Rohingya will be relocated to temporary shelters in Bhasanchar area of Noakhali.
The prime minister added that she continued to work while abroad on an official visit, and maintained regular contact with government officials.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived at Dhaka airport around 9:15am on Saturday. She was greeted by leaders of Awami League, its associate organisations and eminent personalities at the airport VIP lounge.
This article was first published on Bangla Tribune.