Dhaka, January 28, 2024 – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh has called upon the international community to collaborate in repatriating the Rohingya refugees to their homeland in Myanmar and ensuring their dignified life. In a meeting with a British cross-party parliamentary delegation, led by Virendra Sharma, MP, the Prime Minister emphasized the urgent need for a resolution to the protracted Rohingya crisis, highlighting the challenges faced by Bangladesh in providing shelter to the displaced population.
The British delegation, comprising Vice Chair of All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Bangladesh and Chair of APPG on Indo-British, Virendra Sharma, MP, alongside Paul Scully, MP, former Conservative Minister for Tech and Digital Economy; Neil Coyle, MP, Member of UK House of Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs; Andrew Western, MP, Opposition Whip at the House of Commons; and Dominic Moffitt, Senior Parliamentary Assistant at House of Commons, paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence, Ganabhaban.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the world to ponder over effective measures to resolve the Rohingya crisis, allowing the displaced population to return to their homeland and rebuild their lives with dignity. Rohingya crisis unfolded in 2017 when a mass exodus occurred due to inhumane torture, forcing the refugees to seek shelter in neighboring Bangladesh.
M Nazrul Islam, the Prime Minister’s Speechwriter, briefed the media after the meeting, underscoring the Prime Minister’s concerns regarding the Rohingya crisis and its impact on Bangladesh. This visit marks the first parliamentary delegation from the UK since the general elections in Bangladesh on January 7.
PM Sheikh Hasina highlighted Bangladesh’s humanitarian efforts in providing shelter to the Rohingya refugees and the challenges faced by the country, especially in light of the diminishing global monetary assistance amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war. Prime Minister expressed her worry that, despite Myanmar’s agreement to take back its nationals, no substantial measures have been taken in the six years since the crisis began.
The global monetary assistance has dwindled due to the compounded challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, making the Rohingya refugees a significant burden for a relatively small country like Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina emphasized the need for international cooperation to address the root causes of the crisis and facilitate the repatriation process.
Rohingya crisis has garnered international attention, drawing condemnation for the human rights abuses committed against this minority group in Myanmar. The refugees’ displacement has created one of the largest humanitarian challenges globally, with calls for accountability and justice for the persecuted Rohingya population.
The British parliamentary delegation expressed support for Bangladesh’s efforts in addressing the Rohingya crisis and pledged to engage with the international community to find a lasting solution. Members of the delegation, including Paul Scully and Neil Coyle, acknowledged the complexity of the situation and the need for coordinated global action.
The lack of progress in repatriating the Rohingya refugees has been a contentious issue, with Myanmar facing criticism for not taking concrete steps despite agreeing to the repatriation process. The international community, including the United Nations, has consistently called for accountability and justice for the Rohingya population, urging Myanmar to create conditions conducive to the refugees’ safe return.
As the Rohingya crisis persists, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s call for global cooperation underscores the need for sustained international efforts to address the root causes of the conflict, promote accountability for human rights violations, and facilitate a safe and voluntary return for the Rohingya population to Myanmar. The collaboration between Bangladesh and the UK parliamentary delegation signals a commitment to finding diplomatic solutions and alleviating the burden on Bangladesh while upholding the rights and dignity of the Rohingya refugees.