Rohingya crisis a global issue: speakers
Speakers at a discussion yesterday stressed the need for more diplomatic efforts from Bangladesh government's part to reach a solution into safe, secured and dignified repatriation of Rohingya refugees.
They said multi-dimensional factors such as economic reasons were instrumental behind the unfolding of the refugee crisis, which no longer remains bilateral, but has become a global issue.
The criminology department of Dhaka University arranged the two-day international conference titled “Rohingya: Politics, Ethnic Cleansing and Uncertainty” at the Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Building of the university.
Over 720,000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh since August 25 last year, escaping a brutal military campaign in Rakhine State, which has been described by the UN and the US as ethnic cleansing having hallmarks of genocide.
Addressing as a panelist at the concluding session, noted economist Prof Abul Barkat said the Rakhine State is a naturally resourceful region, which draws global economic interests.
Mentioning reasons behind the Rohingya crisis, he said, “There can be other causes. But for me the prime cause is a very special type of economic transition taking place in Myanmar.”
As Myanmar is a member state of the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean), the Bangladesh foreign ministry should have launched efforts to engage other Asean member states to resolve the issue, he added.
Prof Salimullah Khan, director, Centre of Advance Theory of University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, said Rohingya persecution has been taking place over the decades and there has been a complete denial of their citizenship in the process. International recognition of a “Rohingya state” is a prerequisite to resolve the crisis, he said.
Praising Bangladesh government's efforts in giving shelter to Rohingyas, Papa Kysma Sylla, deputy representative of UNHCR, said to resolve the crisis its challenges have to be addressed properly.
Prof Zia Rahman, chairman of DU's criminology department, moderated the session.