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A tale of two leaders

  • Published at 07:59 pm September 13th, 2017
  • Last updated at 08:25 pm September 13th, 2017
A tale of two leaders
For quite some time now, Nobel peace prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi’s silence on the ethnic cleansing of Myanmar’s Rohingya population has been deafening. With Myanmar’s political leadership failing shamefully in its humanitarian responsibilities, it is a matter of great pride for Bangladesh and hope for the world that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has not turned her back on the Rohingya people. By providing aid and shelter to the fleeing Rohingya, registering them in camps, and welcoming them with open arms, the PM has reminded the world that no matter how strained for resources a country may be, humanity always comes first. And right now, with Suu Kyi ungracefully bowing out of the upcoming United Nations General Assembly, while Sheikh Hasina pledges to ease the suffering of 700,000 refugees, the contrast between these two leaders could not possibly be starker. With Suu Kyi turning her back on the UNGA and showing her true colours, Bangladesh is presented with an opportunity to present the case that the world community absolutely must intervene. Bangladesh continues to do all that it can, but our resources only go so far. The larger powers of the world must understand the sheer magnitude of the humanitarian crisis unfolding at the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, and take unequivocal first, ensure that the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are fully provided for, but, second, that they are able to return to their homeland of Rakhine State and live in safety and security there. The Myanmar government has made it clear that, left to their own devices, they will continue with their ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya from Rakhine, and are deaf to the concerns of international law as well as common decency and humanity. At the upcoming UNGA, Bangladesh has a chance to show the international community what is really at stake, and make the case that it is time to put some serious pressure on Myanmar -- the kind that Yangon cannot ignore.
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