State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam on Tuesday said a resolution from the UN Security Council is not the only solution to the Rohingya crisis though Bangladesh does not want to say that there will be no resolution.
“Security Council is important but Security Council resolution is not the only solution,” he said while closing a discussion on Rohingya crisis in the city.
The State Minister said three major powers – the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) – which are strongly with Bangladesh will help the country find a solution to Rohingya crisis at the earliest.
Shahriar said the USA, the UK and the EU gave Myanmar a confidence during their transformation to democracy. “These three parties are agreed with our position, and they understand and know well about the current perspective. We’re hopeful,” he said.
Bangladesh Institute of International Strategic Studies (BIISS) arranged the roundtable discussion ‘The Rohingya Crisis: Measures taken by Bangladesh and way Forward’ at its auditorium.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali spoke as the chief guest at the inaugural session of the discussion.
Earlier, a number of speakers suggested the government to involve international body, specially the UN in moving ahead with any agreement for repatriation of Rohingyas to their motherland.
They also suggested not making the issue militarised which Myanmar wants saying it will be harmful to the country.
They mentioned that Rohingya issue is a political matter and it should be resolved politically.
Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque said Bangladesh is almost sure there will be no third country settlement and the only solution is to send them back to Myanmar.
He said the Foreign Ministry is working with 25 countries simultaneously and appreciated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s role in dealing with the matter.
“It takes lots of courage to accept over a million people. She has a lot of courage. The international community recognised it,” he said.
The Foreign Secretary criticised the civil society members saying they are not seen on the streets but only in TV talk shows.
He urged all not to be worried over the registration process of Rohingyas saying international organisations are engaged in the process, and there is no scope for Myanmar to deny that they are from Myanmar.
The Foreign Secretary said it is a multidimensional, multilayer and complex issue. “The entire government is working. This issue was discussed in the Cabinet twice.”
Former Foreign Secretary Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury feared intentional delay from the Myanmar side over repatriation process and urged the government to remain aware of it.
Retired Brigadier General M Shakhawat Hossain said there is strategic divide over Rohingya issue and there should be continued pressure on Myanmar along with other countries which are also hosting Rohingyas.
He also sought steps so that over 1300 orphans from Myanmar who might become ‘walking bombs’ if proper steps are not taken.
Former adviser to the caretaker government CM Shafi Sami said this is a regional and international problem and there should be efforts from the government so that Myanmar cannot take chance to lessen international pressure on it.
Earlier, the Foreign Minister informed about various measures taken by the government and informed that the government has been continuing multilateral, regional and bilateral diplomatic efforts to solve the Rohingya crisis.
He stressed the importance of continuing international pressure on the Myanmar government.
Bangladesh has been facing this influx since 1978 and this is the third large-scale exodus of Rohingyas caused by the long-drawn policy of systematic persecution by the Myanmar government.
The participants stressed the need to have a proactive and multilayered policy to tackle the issue.
Experts including former diplomats, senior government officials, senior military officers, academics and media personalities participated in the open discussion and expressed their opinions, observations, and suggestions during the discussion.
Disaster Management and Relief Ministry joint secretary M Habibul Kabir Chowdhury briefed the participants on relief distribution operations for Rohingyas.
Two high officials of the Bangladesh Armed Forces Division delivered statements regarding relief operations carried out by the armed forces division.
Quoting Bangladesh border guards, the UNHCR on Tuesday said more than 11,000 Rohingya refugees crossed by land on Monday into south-eastern Bangladesh through several points while the total number of new arrivals crossed 520000.