Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the OIC member states to find out why Muslims across the world are being subjected to repression, torture and eviction.
“If there is any problem or discontent, this should be resolved through dialogue bilaterally or regionally. I would like to urge the OIC [Organisation of Islamic Cooperation] to play a more proactive role in mitigating the plight of the Muslims,” she said.
Hasina was speaking at a high-level meeting on the situation of the Rohingyas in Myanmar, organised by Permanent Mission of Saudi Arabia and the OIC Secretariat, at a conference room at the UN Headquarters.
More than a year has gone by since thousands of Rohingya Muslims fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar's Rakhine State to escape “genocide” in their homeland, Hasina mentioned.
“We cannot just ignore the plight of the forcibly evicted Rohingyas in one of the largest displacements in human history. Currently, we're hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Bangladesh.”
Hasina said repression on the Rohingya Muslims is nothing new. Their exodus from Myanmar to Bangladesh had taken place in three phases -- in 1978, 1991-92 and 2017-18, and their recent exodus is the biggest one.
The repatriation of the Rohingyas to their homeland does not seem to be the only sustainable solution to the problem, she said underscoring the need for collective responsibility and ensuring the rights and privileges of the Rohingyas by Myanmar.
The PM said it is the people of Bangladesh who are bearing the brunt of the Rohingya crisis time and again.
“The government has stood by the Rohingyas by opening the border and providing emergency support, having been guided by our morale and human principles. However, our resolution to humanity should not be penalised. The prolonged presence of the Rohingyas in Bangladesh poses serious challenges to our economy, environment and security.”
She mentioned that as a responsible neighbour, Bangladesh has engaged with Myanmar in finding a peaceful solution to the crisis from the very beginning.
“We have signed two instruments for repatriation of the Rohingyas ... However, persistent international pressure can complement the bilateral front to change Myanmar's well-planned political position of annihilating an entire race.”
She urged the Muslim Ummah to mount pressure on Myanmar to create conducive environment for sustainable repatriation of the Rohingyas and ensuring accountability of those who committed atrocities against the Muslim minority.
Hasina also stressed the importance of the OIC member states' engagement in the UN system, including the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council, as well as other relevant international organisations to address the massive human rights violations against the Rohingya Muslims.
“Above all, we need to solve the issue at the earliest.”
The PM also mentioned that she proposed a five-point action last September for resolving the Rohingya crisis peacefully.
“It's a matter of great regret that the repatriation process is yet to start.
“I would like to reiterate that the Rohingya crisis is a political one deeply rooted in Myanmar. Thus, its solution lies with Myanmar,” she said.
OIC Secretary General Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen was present at the programme.