A burden for Bangladesh: PM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called the displaced Rohingyas and stranded Pakistanis "a burden for Bangladesh", saying they are putting pressure on the country's economy.
"Three years have already passed after Rohingya influx in Bangladesh and it's a burden for us," she said.
The prime minister said this while newly appointed Ambassador of the Netherlands to Bangladesh Anne Gerard Van Leeuwen paid a courtesy call on her at her official residence the Gono Bhaban.
She added that the Rohingyas are also destroying the environment and forest resources of Cox's Bazar.
She also talked about the stranded Pakistanis, saying, "They [Rohingyas and stranded Pakistanis] are creating economic pressure on Bangladesh."
PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed the newsmen after the meeting.
Talking about the Rohingya issue, the Netherlands envoy was apprised of his talking about the issue with the refugees and NGO activists.
He expressed his realisation that the solution is rooted in sending back the Rohingyas to their native land Myanmar.
Sheikh Hasina appreciated the Netherlands contribution to her country's development and formulate the Delta Plan-2100.
To this end, she recalled the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's stance to develop Bangladesh through land reclamation like the Netherlands.
Recalling her last visit to the Netherlands the prime minister said that she was overwhelmed to see the production and preservation of agricultural items using the Green House system.
"We can also adopt the system as our country is an agro-based one," she said.
The Dutch envoy said they are eager to share their experience to this end.
Sheikh Hasina said her government is doing the river dredging in the country as part of the measures to increase water reservoirs to preserve water.
The prime minister said that they are converting Cox's Bazar airport into an international airport to attract more tourists in the world's longest unbroken sandy sea beach.
She said her government is setting up 100 economic zones in different parts of the country to attract more domestic and foreign investment and thus spur the country's overall development.
Dutch Ambassador Anne Gerard Van Leeuwen appreciated Bangladesh's development under the visionary and dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The envoy said that he had travelled to Bangladesh by air and witnessed the landscape of the country which he said was similar to his own country.
Later, the Ambassador of Nepal in Bangladesh Dr Banshidhar Mishra paid a farewell call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Gono Bhaban.
The prime minister said Bangladesh is developing the Syedpur Airport as a regional one and Nepal can use the airport.
She also offered Nepal to use Mongla and Paira ports.
The premier also recalled with gratitude Nepal's support during the War of Liberation.
PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed the newsmen after the call on.
The Nepalese envoy has sought cooperation from Bangladesh for the development of its agriculture sector.
He also praised Bangladesh's overall development saying that they are moved with its development.
The Nepalese envoy thanked the prime minister as Nepal always gets Bangladesh's support in their needs and recalled Bangladesh's medical assistance after the earthquake hit their country.
He thanked the Bangladesh prime minister on behalf of his country's President and prime minister as she sent Haribhanga mangoes.
Ambassador-at-Large Mohammad Ziauddin and Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus were present at the meetings.