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Khaleda distributes relief

Strong diplomatic efforts a must for Rohingya return

photo by NN Photo

BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia distributing relief goods among the Rohingyas at Moynargona Camp in Ukhiya on Monday.

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31st-Oct-2017       
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UNB, Cox's Bazar :
Stating that it is not possible for Bangladesh to bear the burden of Rohingyas for a long time, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Tuesday said strong diplomatic efforts and discussions with Myanmar can pave the path for repatriating these displaced people ensuring their security and citizenship.
She also urged the government and the international community and powerful countries to intensify diplomatic efforts to resolve the Rohingyas crisis as soon as possible. Khaleda made the call while talking to reporters after distributing relief materials among displaced Myanmar nationals at Moynargona Rohingya camp in Ukhiya upazila. The BNP chief also urged Myanmar to take back its nationals ensuring their security and citizenship for the sake of humanity. "We think the Rohingya crisis won't be resolved only by distributing relief materials. The Rohingyas will have to be repatriated through discussions and strong diplomatic efforts so that they can live their own country with security and without fear," she said. Mentioning that the government could not yet take any effective step to resolve the Rohingya problem, Khaleda said, "The Bangladesh government must strengthen its diplomatic efforts to send back the Rohingyas. Alongside, the international organisations will have to take responsibility for repatriating them on humanitarian ground."
The BNP chief called upon the international community to come forward to ensure the safe return of Rohingyas to their own country. "Only condemnation and sympathy are not enough. I appeal to the international organisations: You please translate your words into actions to overcome the problem."
Khaleda said the international community should understand Bangladesh is a poor, small and densely populated country. "Though we're poor, we've got the big heart, and we love people. With that spirit, locals are making their best efforts and providing money from their pockets to ease the pains and sufferings of the Rohingyas.
She further said, "But it's not possible for us to bear it for a long time. So, Myanmar should take steps to take their citizens back to their country as early as possible as winter is approaching fast as the rainy season is over."
The BNP chief voiced concern that Bangladesh's environment and ecological balance have been at stake due to tree and hill cutting by Rohingyas. "That's why the government should take steps to send them back to Myanmar." She recalled that BNP governments in 1978 and 1992 repatriated Rohingyas through discussions with Myanmar and diplomatic efforts. Khaleda said the government has so far failed to stand by the Rohingyas with adequate relief materials and other assistance. "They're also obstructing those who are trying to help the Rohingyas." She thanked those non-governmental organisations and individuals extended their helping hands for easing the sufferings of Rohingyas. Later, Khaleda visited Rohingya camps at Hakim Para, Balukhali and a medical camp set up by pro-BNP physicians' body, Doctors' Association of Bangladesh (DAB) at Ukhia.
She talked to the Rohingyas and distributed relief materials there. Khaleda turned emotional seeing a minor Rohingya girl weeping on her mother's lap. She took the girl on her lap and cuddled her.
She also handed over food, other goods and medicine for Rohingya children and lactating mothers to the DAB medical camp to distribute those among them. The BNP chief also hailed the role of army in distributing relief in a disciplined manner.
Earlier, BNP standing committee members, Mirza Abbas and Nazrul Islam Khan handed over relief materials loaded in 45 trucks to the army camp on behave of Khaleda Zia around 9:00 am.
Khaleda Zia arrived at Ukhia around 1pm after staying overnight at the Cox's Bazar Circuit House.
After visiting the Rohingya camps, Khaleda returned to Cox's Bazar Circuit House. She will return to Chittagong later in the evening and stay overnight there. Khaleda is scheduled to return to capital on Tuesday.
On Saturday morning, Khaleda set out for Chittagong and her Cox's Bazar-bound convoy came under attack at Mohammad Ali Bazar near Feni district town in the afternoon.

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