Momen meets Rajapaksa, seeks support for Human Rights Council vote
Bangladesh has sought Sri Lankan support to ensure repatriation of Rohingyas to their place of origin in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen discussed the issue when he met Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa at a city hotel on Friday.
While talking to reporters after the meeting, Momen said they agreed that it is a serious issue and it will be good if Sri Lanka discusses it with its friend Myanmar.
The foreign minister conveyed that not a single Rohingya could be repatriated over the last four years due to lack of sincerity from the Myanmar side.
Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar district and Bhasan Char. The majority of them came here in August 2017, fleeing persecution in their homeland of Rakhine state.
Momen said Bangladesh also sought Sri Lankan support in the Human Rights Council as Bangladesh will contest for the member of the council in the future. Bangladesh is already a member of the Human Rights Council.
He said the Sri Lankan prime minister assured him of extending their support in the vote.
“We had a very friendly discussion on all issues. We are very happy,” Momen said.
Rohingya crisis and Bangladesh
The Rohingyas are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.
Members of the mainly-Muslim ethnic minority are denied citizenship by Myanmar. Many are forced to live in squalid camps in apartheid-like condition. State-sponsored discrimination against them stretches back decades.
Bangladesh has long been urging the global community to take effective steps to put pressure on Myanmar to create a congenial atmosphere for Rohingya repatriation but there has been little progress.
The presence of the huge number of Rohingya refugees in the coastal district has put them on a collision course with the locals. Many Rohingyas have allegedly got involved in various criminal activities.
Dhaka says the Rohingyas will jeopardize national and regional security if they are not repatriated.