PM wants Myanmar find solution to refugee issue

PM wants Myanmar find solution to refugee issue

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New York – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said Bangladesh looks forward to working with the new Myanmar leadership to find a lasting solution to the refugee issue and urged the other international partners to remain engaged in this regard, UNB news agency reported.
“We look forward to working with the new Myanmar leadership to find a lasting solution to this issue … I’m already in touch with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi,” she said.
The Prime Minister was addressing the ‘Leaders’ Summit on Refugees’ organised by US President Barack Obama at the Trusteeship Council Chamber at the UN Headquarters on Tuesday afternoon (Local time).Sheikh Hasina urged other international partners to remain engaged in the refugee issue. “As part of our commitment to leave no one behind, we must promote orderly, safe, regular and responsible mobility of people,” she said.
For nearly three decades, she said, Bangladesh has been hosting a large number of refugees and displaced persons from Myanmar.
“With our limited resources, we continue to bear our responsibilities for these people … our local communities create space for their protection and assistance,” she said, adding this poses many social, economic, environmental and political challenges as well.
For the Myanmar refugees in camps, Hasina said her government keeps investing in their security, health, education and skills. “Improved shelter and self-reliance will be given an added attention.”
“For other displaced Myanmar nationals in Bangladesh, we’ve recently carried out a census. We’re planning to give them an identity document titled ‘information card’ … this will help them access justice, health, education and other services,” she said.
The Prime Minister said the present world is witnessing a mass movement of people across national borders while armed conflicts, poverty and climate change are compelling people to flee their countries and undertake perilous journeys.
She said it is often difficult to draw a line among people on the move. “Despite their different needs, refugees, migrants and other displaced people face some common challenges. We need to treat them with compassion, solidarity and fairness.”
During Bangladesh’s Liberation War in 1971, Hasina said, the country had 10 million refugees in India with their desperation shaking the world.
She recalled when Senator Edward Kennedy visited them in camps while George Harrison and Ravi Shankar held a historic concert in New York. “Those memories drive our solidarity with refugees all over,” Hasina added.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, PM’s Principal Secretary Md Abul Kalam Azad and Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque were present on the occasion.

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