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PM to C`wealth countries

Force Myanmar to stop persecution, take back Rohingyas

photo by NN Photo

ROHINGYA INFLUX CONTINUES: Hundreds of unarmed civilians, including women, children and elderly people, are entering Bangladesh every day amid aggressive ethnic cleansing operation by the Myanmar army that ravaged most of the Muslim dominated villages in

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday urged the Commonwealth countries to force Myanmar to stop persecution on its Rohingya citizens and take them back from Bangladesh at the earliest.
"I would like to request you all to discuss the Rohingya issue with utmost importance and exert pressure on the Myanmar government to stop persecution on its citizens [Rohingyas]and take them back at the earliest," she said. The Prime Minister said this while officially inaugurating the 63rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) at the South Plaza on Parliament premises here.
She said 'Friendship to all, malice to none' is Bangladesh's policy in maintaining relations with foreign countries. "Especially, we're eager to maintain good relations with our neighbours." Sheikh Hasina, also the vice patron of the 63rd CPC, said Bangladesh resolved long-standing problems of Ganges water sharing and land boundary dispute with India through signing treaties. "Similarly, maritime boundary problem with India and Myanmar was also resolved amicably."
But, the Prime Minister said, the inhuman persecution inflicted on the Rohingya population in the Rakhaine state of Myanmar and their forceful expulsion from their homeland have created instability in the region and beyond. She said over 622,000 Myanmar nationals fled to Bangladesh to escape persecution. After 1978, another 500,000 Rohingyas came to Bangladesh at different times. "We've given temporary shelter to this huge number of people on humanitarian ground." The CPA and Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad are jointly arranging the conference with the theme: 'Continuing to enhance the high standards of performance of parliamentarians'. The eight-day conference 2017 began on November 1 with the meetings of different committees and sub-committees of the CPA as well as conferences of small branches before the official inauguration.
Hasina said, the main aim of the government is to build a hunger- and poverty- free Bangladesh through strengthening the foundation of democratic rule in the country. "Aiming to fulfill the goal, we've framed Vision 2021 and now are implementing the same devising specific plans."
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh has been in a journey through the roads of peace, democracy, development and prosperity. "We've already been elevated to a lower middle-income country. We expect that Bangladesh will emerge as a country of middle income on the Golden Jubilee of our Independence in 2021 and as a developed one by 2041."
But, she said, a new campaign of facing militancy and terrorism has been added to the efforts of the government to eradicate hunger and poverty. "Thoughtless acts of a section of people are claiming innocent lives. Militancy is not a problem of a particular country, rather it became a global phenomenon," she said. The Prime Minister mentioned that a few days back, eight precious lives were lost on a New York road. "We've to be united to get rid of this menace."
Talking about the climate change and its impact, she said Bangladesh is the worst victim of the climate change. "This year we experienced excessive precipitation and recurrence of flooding that washed away our vast localities and damaged standing crops. We expect immediate implementation of the promises made at different times to offset the adverse impacts of climate change," she said.
In Bangladesh, Hasina said, people have been striving hard to build a poverty- and hunger-free democratic society. She also said independent and strong mass media are the vigilant watchdog of democracy. In the past few years, Bangladesh witnessed huge expansion of mass media. "The freedom of mass media and people's right to information has been ensured." CPA President and Speaker of Bangladesh Parliament Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Secretary-General Akbar Khan, CPA treasurer Vicki Dunn, and Commonwealth youth representative Aiman Sadique spoke on the occasion. Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury read out the message of the patron of CPA Queen Elizabeth (2nd) and video message of commonwealth secretary general Patricia Scotland was screened at the programme.

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