Dhaka protests unprecedented Rohingya influx
Dhaka yesterday summoned the Myanmar envoy to Bangladesh for the fourth time in less than two weeks and handed over a strongly worded protest note against the unprecedented level of influx of Myanmar nationals to Bangladesh since August 25.
Expressing deep concern about the escalation of violence in Rakhine due to the ongoing military operations on civilian populations which caused a high number of casualties and the burning of thousands of houses, the note said streams of affected civilians have been entering Bangladesh to escape from violence and save their lives.
The Foreign Ministry summoned Charge d'affaires of the Myanmar Embassy in Dhaka, Aung Myint, at 2pm yesterday when Manjurul Karim Khan Chowdhury, Director General (Asia & Pacific), handed over the protest note.
During the meeting with the charge d'affaires of the Myanmar Embassy in Dhaka, the foreign ministry also expressed concern at the reported laying down of anti-personnel land mines close to the zero line of the border by Myanmar security forces.
Quoting UN agencies, the protest note said an estimated 125,000 affected Myanmar nationals have taken shelter in Bangladesh and tens of thousands are on their way.
"This new influx is an unbearable additional burden on Bangladesh who has been hosting around four hundred thousand Myanmar nationals who had to leave Myanmar in several rounds in the past owing to communal violence and repeated military operations," it said.
Bangladesh stressed that she must not become the victim of repeated violence and instability in Rakhine State.
Bangladesh strongly opposed the "disproportionate use of force and gross violation of human rights by the Myanmar forces", regretting lack of appropriate measures for the protection of civilian populations and asked Myanmar to strictly adhere to international human rights laws and internationally recognised norms during any operation.
In the protest note, Bangladesh also expressed concern at the lack of access of humanitarian agencies in the affected areas. "This may further deteriorate the situation forcing vulnerable civilians to cross over to Bangladesh."
Expecting good neighbourliness from Myanmar, Dhaka hoped that Myanmar's government will ensure that measures taken by Myanmar forces in Rakhine state do not affect Bangladesh.
Furthermore, Bangladesh stressed on the urgent need for unrestricted humanitarian access of relief agencies to all the affected areas of Rakhine state without any exceptions.
According to a foreign ministry press release, Bangladesh demanded Myanmar government take immediate steps to stop the ongoing influx of Myanmar nationals into Bangladesh and requested Myanmar to address the real cause of the exodus.
It emphasised taking immediate and appropriate measures of protection by Myanmar for unarmed civilians of all communities regardless of ethnicity and religion.
Bangladesh also urged Myanmar to take immediate measures to take back all Myanmar nationals who crossed over to Bangladesh.
Earlier, Aung Myint was summoned on August 26 and 28 and on September 2 when the foreign ministry also protested the huge influx of affected civilians entering Bangladesh.