UK calls for stepping up support for Rohingyas
UK along with its international partners will continue to put “maximum pressure” on Myanmar to ensure justice for the Rohingya victims of the persecutions by military in Rakhine State as well as their safe and dignified return from Bangladesh.
“We are working in an effective way and will continue to do what we can to hold perpetrators accountable,” said visiting UK Foreign Office Minister Mark Field.
In this context, he said the United Kingdom was instrumental in imposing European Union's sanctions on senior military officials from Myanmar.
Field also laid importance on stepping up support for Rohingyas during monsoon.
“The UK is leading the way. We stand ready to do much more.
“Bangladesh is dealing with a major humanitarian crisis not of its making and it's vital that the international community works with Bangladesh to step up support for the refugees and their host communities, especially during this monsoon season,” he said.
Terming the Rohingya crisis one of the worst humanitarian crisis “in our time”, he said reports of human rights violation in Rakhine are truly horrific, and the UK will continue to put pressure within the international community to ensure that justice is done to the victims.
Field, who is minister for Asia and the Pacific, and Joanna Roper, UK special envoy for gender equality, arrived in Dhaka yesterday morning for a three-day visit to discuss the Rohingya crisis and girls education in Bangladesh.
They will hold discussions with high government officials on various pressing issues.
He was talking to some journalists at the residence of the British high commissioner in Dhaka yesterday afternoon.
Field highly appreciated Bangladesh's generous support for Rohingyas living in Bangladesh. “We are incredibly grateful to Bangladesh and to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for welcoming over one million Rohingya refugees and I am looking forward to seeing how UK aid is helping improve their lives.”
“The UK is determined to be a world leader in advocating for gender equality internationally and it is all too often women and girls who are the greatest victims in a humanitarian crisis like this -- whether as a result of sexual violence, or loss of access to education, and they must not be ignored,” Roper said.
Field and Roper will visit Cox's Bazar to see the plight of the Rohingyas today.
Speaking about Bangladesh's economic progress, Field said he was very inspired to see on the ground the tremendous change and progress this country had made and he would discuss with government officials how they could continue the “very strong friendship” between the two countries.
In respond to a question, the British minister wished Bangladesh all the best in the coming national election with an expectation that there would be a “free, fair and participatory” polls.
He hoped that there would be full political debate about the future of this country.
On another question, Field said he tried to speak to BNP representatives in London about a fully participatory election and hoped that all parties would play their part in holding a participatory election.
A participatory election is in the interest of Bangladesh and it is also in the interest of all parties.
The people of Bangladesh should be given broadest possible choices to elect their leaders in a free and fair manner, he noted.