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Myanmar must recognise Rohingyas as citizens: Bangladesh FM

Bangladesh still needs a long-term political solution to it.

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Myanmar must recognise Rohingyas as citizens: Bangladesh FM
Money being distributed to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh on Monday.
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Bangladesh state minister for foreign affairs Mohammed Shahriar Alam said that Rohingyas in Bangladesh and other parts of the world should be given recognition by Myanmar government as citizens of the country.

"There are about 8 lakh Rohingyas in Bangladesh and many in other parts of the world as well. Everyone should be given recognition by Myanmar government as citizens of that country. They should be taken back by Myanmar," Alam said on Monday during a seminar on 'Bangladesh Today'. He also said that although the Rohingyas in Bangladesh hadn't adversely affected their economy, "Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's commentary on feeding 8-10 lakh Rohingyas was said purely on humanitarian grounds. Bangladesh still needs a long-term political solution to it. We are pursuing diplomatic routes to find an end to this crisis, but I think the solution lies in the implementation of the Kofi Annan report and whatever has been said by the UN Secretary General's office, European Parliament, and other economies engaged with Myanmar and Bangladesh."

Asked if they had written to the Myanmar government about it, he said that they had, but are yet to receive any positive response and that Hasina, before leaving for the United Nations General Assembly on September 20, had issued a statement on the Rohingya crisis being a priority and that she would raise it in global platforms.

On the sidelines of the event, referring to the Indian government's submission to the Supreme Court that Rohingyas must be deported and that they were a threat to security, Alam said, "What the Indian government said is its own issue, but it is obviously a security threat for Bangladesh. We have had incidents in the past. That is why we are mindful of that and we are registering the Rohingya population for the first time. Work has begun about a week ago and we have alerted the law enforcing agencies and local administration that the Rohingya population should not go outside the designated area."

The Indian government had also submitted that there might be a link between Rohingyas and Pak terror outfits. To that Alam said, "We are not aware of any linkages with terrorist organisations. But we all know, that even if not directly linked, they are inspired by some external forces."

Answering questions about whether the Myanmar army was using landmines to kill Rohingyas who were trying to flee the country, he said, "Yes. We have informed that to the Myanmar envoy in Dhaka. The people who were trying to flee took photos. We are hosting at least three injured individuals who have lost their limbs, and two more have died in the blast. Bangladesh is part of the anti-mine campaign."

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