'We stand for mankind'
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said people will eat one meal a day and share another with the distressed Rohingyas, if necessary.
"If we can feed 16 crore people, we would also be able to feed an additional five to seven lakh during their bad times," she said while exchanging views with Awami League leaders from different US states at the Ritz Carlton hotel on Sunday evening.
"After all we are human beings and we stand for mankind," she said.
PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
"Though we're not rich, we've a big heart... they are human beings, and we can't throw them into the Bay of Bengal," Ihsanul quoted the PM as saying.
Hasina, who visited Rohingya refugee camps in Cox's Bazar before flying to New York last month, narrated the horrifying stories she heard from the women and children fleeing violence in Myanmar's Rakhine State.
The premier said Rohingyas would be relocated to "Bhasan Char" from Cox's Bazar. The civil administration, army, navy, Air Force, BGB, police and AL volunteers were working hard to ease the sufferings of Rohingyas, she told the meeting.
"Without waiting for any external assistance, we've made arrangements for their accommodation, food, and medicine," she said, adding that she already gave Tk 5 crore as an initial funding in this regard.
The PM said the international community was amazed to see the generosity of accepting such a huge number of people by the Bangladesh government.
About terrorism and extremism, she said her government launched a vigorous campaign against terrorism, militancy, and abuse of drugs.
Law enforcers and intelligence agencies were working in close cooperation to eradicate these menaces, she mentioned.
Speaking on a different not, the PM said the government was setting up 100 economic zones across the country and the expatriate Bangladeshis could invest there.
'WE'VE PROVED, WE CAN'
Hasina has expressed happiness at the installation of the first span of the Padma Bridge.
"Yes, we've proved, we can... I'm very happy…. We, the Bangalee nation fought and liberated the country.... We can do whatever we want to do as we have honest will and determination."
The PM recalled her government's decision to finance the mega project from state fund after the World Bank had withdrawn its loan on a "false and fictitious corruption charge".
"It was a big challenge, a big decision for Bangladesh [to finance the project with its own fund] as it was linked with the country's image."
She congratulated all Bangladeshis at home and abroad for extending their support to help complete the dream bridge that would connect the country's southern region with the capital.
Later, Hasina unveiled a bust of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the Bangladesh Embassy in Washington DC through video conferencing.
Famous sculptor Stephen Weitzman built the bust made of bronze.
Mohammad Ziauddin, Bangladesh ambassador to the USA, and senior officials of the embassy were present.
Padma Bridge became visible on Saturday with the installation of the first span at the Janjira point of Shariatpur. The 3,200-tonne first span was installed between pier-37 and pier-38 of the bridge.
The PM went to Washington from New York on September 22 after attending the 72nd United Nations General Assembly.
She flew to New York from Dhaka on September 17 to join the annual UN event.