PM welcomes ICC decision to probe atrocities on Rohingyas

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 PM welcomes ICC decision to probe atrocities on Rohingyas

Sun Online Desk     16th February, 2019 12:30:58

 Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday welcomed the decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to send a team for ‘preliminary examination’ of the atrocities on Rohingyas by Myanmar Army.

The premier came up with this observation in a meeting with ICC Chief Prosecutor Dr. Fatu Bensouda on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque told.

In press briefing Md. Shahidul Haque further told that Sheikh Hasina also assured the ICC to give all possible support to the team which is scheduled to visit Bangladesh next month. PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim was present at the briefing.

Shahidul Haque said the prime minister and the ICC chief prosecutor discussed the issues relating to the trial of genocide of Pakistani Army in Bangladesh in 1971 and atrocities on Rohingya nationals in Myanmar. He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid importance on bringing the perpetrators of the genocide of Pakistani Army in Bangladesh in 1971 to book.

About the trial of atrocities on Rohingyas, Dr Fatu said the ICC has already brought the Rohingya issue under its jurisdiction and set up a court for trial of the perpetrators. He said the ICC team will visit Bangladesh to have the ‘preliminary examination’ aimed at establishing the case.

The prime minister also underlined the background of the killing of Bangabandhu and his family members in 1975 and informed the ICC chief prosecutor about the trial process of the killers. Dr Fatu, a national of Gambia and international lawyer, said she knows about the brutal killing of Bangabandhu.

The ICC chief prosecutor requested the prime minister to visit the ICC to speak to the judges on the issue of the trial of the 1971 genocide. Dr Fatu thanked the prime minister for playing a pioneering role in the ICC. “Bangladesh Ambassador is actively playing role in various committees in the ICC,” she said.

The ICC is a new area where Bangladesh is being involved very actively in recent time, the foreign secretary said. Earlier Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Nobel laureate Batrice Fihn called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Fihn thanked the Prime Minister for Bangladesh’s firm stance on nuclear weapons abolition issue and appreciated Bangladesh as the country since Bangabandhu’s era in 1974 has been making constant efforts to make South Asia a nuclear free zone.

The foreign secretary said Fihn hoped that Bangladesh would take a pioneering role in abolishing nuclear weapons as two big countries in the region developed such weapons. Haque said Fihn praised the prime minister’s diplomatic efforts to bring peace and stability in the region soon after nuclear bomb tests in India and Pakistan in late nineties.

She also recalled the prime minister’s visit to the two countries aimed at pursuing them to stop nuclear arms race and spent the money for development and poor people. Bangladesh is one of the first countries which signed the convention on abolition of nuclear weapons, she said.

Fihn informed the prime minister that they are considering organizing an event on abolishing nuclear weapons on the sidelines of the coming UN General Assembly and invited the premier to join the programme.

Source: http://www.daily-sun.com/post/371653/2019/02/16/PM-welcomes-ICC-decision-to-probe-atrocities-on-Rohingyas

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Dhaka seeks OIC support for ‘safe zone’ for Rohingyas in Myanmar

Home > Rohingya Crisis

11:37 AM, February 15, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:44 AM, February 15, 2019

Dhaka seeks OIC support for ‘safe zone’ for Rohingyas in Myanmar

In this undated AFP file photo, Rohingya refugees queue for food at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh.

 Star Online Report

 State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam has sought the support of OIC member states for creating a conducive situation in Myanmar for the Rohingyas’ safe and dignified return.  

The state minister came up with the call while briefing OIC ambassadors and delegates about the evolving situation with the crisis at an OIC meeting yesterday, said a press release issued by Bangladesh Foreign Ministry today. He raised the possibility of creating a civilian “safe zone” for the returning Rohingyas in Myanmar, to be monitored by the human rights and humanitarian outfits in the concerned regional context.

Shahriar Alam also shared information on the government’s plans to relocate a portion of the Rohingya population in Cox’s Bazar to the Bhashan Char island in consultation with all concerned stakeholders. “By opening our borders to the persecuted Rohingyas, Bangladesh has not only saved lives but also stabilised the entire region,” the junior minister said.

The international community has a shared responsibility to help restore the Rohingyas’ fundamental rights and freedoms, including their right to return to Myanmar in safety and dignity, said Shahriar Alam. The junior minister of Bangladesh arrived in Geneva on Wednesday to attend the launch of the UN Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis for 2019. The launch will take place at an event at the UN today.

The OIC ambassadors and delegates from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Lebanon, Jordan, Libya, State of Palestine and the Maldives reaffirmed their solidarity with the forcibly displaced Rohingya and commended Bangladesh for its generosity in hosting them.

The OIC member states also reiterated their commitment to help find a peaceful and lasting solution to the crisis through sustained engagement in the relevant human rights and humanitarian fora in Geneva. State Minister Alam also had a bilateral meeting with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, where they discussed the latest developments with the Rohingya crisis.

Related Topics : Rohingya crisis, Support of OIC member states sought, Safe zone for Rohingyas in Myanmar

 Source: https://www.thedailystar.net/rohingya-crisis/news/dhaka-seeks-oic-support-rohingyas-safe-zone-1702537

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Myanmar should pay US$6 billion in compensation for Rohingya crisis: study finds

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 Myanmar should pay US$6 billion in compensation for Rohingya crisis: study finds

Afrose Jahan Chaity  Published at 09:16 pm February 12th, 2019

 Bangladesh is currently sheltering over 1.1 million Rohingyas in a number of refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

The research, conducted by Swinburne University of Technology, Australia, interviewed 16,000 people and collected data on 3,300 households. A latest study has suggested that Myanmar should pay US$6 billion in damages to the Rohingya and the government of Bangladesh as the host country.

The compensation should be paid under two categories: economic loss and psychological loss, the study said. Titled “Rohingya Mass Exodus: Who Should Pay Compensation and How Much?”, the study was unveiled in a seminar on “Rohingya Crisis-Global Challenges” at the Institutions of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh (IDEB) in Dhaka on Tuesday.

The research, conducted by Swinburne University of Technology, Australia, interviewed 16,000 people and collected data on 3,300 households. The sample size for the study was 800,000 Rohingya refugees. Dr Mohsin Habib, director and senior lecturer of the International Business Program of the university, presented the research findings.

The research concluded that the Bangladesh government should get US$2.6 billion as compensation for the losses including losses for environmental degradation and overall expenditure in order to respond to the crisis. Based on the assets owned by refugees the study calculated that Rohingya refugees should get $165 million for the loss of land.

The study found that the Rohingya refugees on an average owned two acres of land and three ponds per person. The damages also include US$771 million for migration costs, US$98 million as the price of their homes, and US$220 million for the loss of other properties.

According to the study, Myanmar should pay US$2.1 billion as compensation for the trauma caused to the Rohingya refugees as a result of persecution in the country. “The compensation has been calculated measuring two types of losses–economic and psychological. The data was verified by diplomats in Myanmar and the losses were estimated based on the exchange rate,” said Dr Habib.

Giorgi (George) Gigauri, chief of mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Bangladesh, said refugees outnumber the locals, making the latter a minority, adversely affecting employment and standards of living.

The Chairman of the Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation, Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad said the Rohingyas must go back to Myanmar as they are citizens of the country.

“But the security of their lives must be secured before they can be sent back. Until they leave Bangladesh, the development partners and international agencies must ensure them a decent life,” he said. Fearing a potential rise of terrorism, Dr Kholiquzzaman said, “If they are deprived of a safe and normal life, education and other basic needs, the Rohingya may get involved in insurgency, which will deepen the crisis.”

Assistant Inspector General of Police Taptun Nasreen said the number of cases in Cox’s Bazar has increased after the Rohingya crisis. “Around 500 cases related to the Rohingyas have been filed since the crisis began, and we also fear the deterioration of law and order as a result.”

Chaired by IDEB President Engr A K M A Hamid, the seminar was also attended by Planning Minister M A Mannan and Senior Human Rights Advisor of the United Nations Bangladesh Heike Alefsen, among others.

 Tags: Myanmar , Rohingya , Rohingya Refugee , Dr Mohsin Habib ,IDEB

 Source: https://www.dhakatribune.com/world/south-asia/2019/02/12/myanmar-should-pay-us-6-billion-in-compensation-for-rohingya-crisis-study-finds

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Why Myanmar’s military will win the Rakhine war

MYANMARRAKHINE|NEWS  FEBRUARY 5, 2019

  A Myanmar border guard stands near a group of Rohingya Muslims in a Buthidaung township village in the country’s restive Rakhine state, January 25, 2019. Photo: Richard Sargent/AFP

Why Myanmar’s military will win the Rakhine war

Insurgent Arakan Army has ignited a fight it likely can’t sustain without help from Bangladesh or India

By ANTHONY DAVIS, BANGKOK

Triggered by a wave of rebel attacks, the recent surge in hostilities in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state marks an ominous watershed in a hitherto low-intensity conflict between Arakan Army (AA) insurgents and government forces.

After four years of low-key political and military infiltration from bases several hundred kilometers away on Myanmar’s northern Chinese border, assaults by hundreds of ethnic Rakhine fighters on four police posts in early January appeared to indicate the ethno-nationalist rebel group had shifted its operational focus squarely back onto its home-turf in Rakhine state.

The military, or Tatmadaw, responded at speed by air-lifting crack units into Rakhine from other parts of the country and ratcheting up operations backed by artillery and air power aimed at “crushing” rebels who now operate across almost all townships in the northern half of the state.

Last week, on January 31, the Tatmadaw staged a day of well-publicized war games in Meiktila in central Myanmar show-casing a range of improved capabilities, not least parachute assaults, low-level air strikes and aerial resupply drops. Attended by armed forces commander-in-chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the drills were clearly intended to send a blunt message both to the general public and the AA: the gloves are coming off.

The Tatmadaw’s impending escalation confronts the AA with a critical challenge: how to sustain a war at the end of precariously long supply lines. “If the AA has one problem, it’s resupply,” noted one Bangkok-based intelligence official. “They’ve upped the ante in a big way but whether they’ll be able to deal with the response is a lot less clear.”

Fighting for far-reaching autonomy in a nation dominated politically, economically and militarily by its ethnic Burman majority, the AA is flexing real strengths which have undoubtedly underpinned its current assertiveness and confidence. Those strengths may also, however, have instilled a dangerous over-confidence.

Not least is a significant level of popular support, particularly among Rakhine youth both inside Rakhine state and beyond. As detailed in a January report by the International Crisis Group, that support has been boosted by the mishandling of the state’s politics by the National League for Democracy (NLD) government nominally led by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and a growing perception that political channels for protest via state politics have been exhausted.

Popular support and a dynamic leadership headed by the AA’s youthful 40-year-old commander Tun Myat Naing has translated into a remarkable surge in armed strength in recent years. A current assessment by one regional intelligence service puts the AA’s numbers – in 2015 believed to be around 2,500 – at between 5,000 and 6,000. Figures cited in the Myanmar media are as high as 7,000.

Rapid growth has been underpinned by apparently rich cash flows. AA spokesmen have asserted that lucre has come from donations, both from wealthy benefactors as well as migrant Rakhine workers who have fled poverty at home to work in other cities in Myanmar. But few analysts doubt that AA’s funds have also derived from involvement in the huge trade in methamphetamine that moves between northeastern Shan State where the group operates into Bangladesh.

Finally, the group has honed its military capabilities through its membership in the Northern Alliance-Burma (NA-B), a coalition of four ethnic insurgent groups based in the north of the country which has declined to sign the government-sponsored Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA).

Training and headquarters provided by a Northern Alliance ally, the Kachin Independence Army, near the KIA’s capital of Laiza on the Chinese border, has been essential to the AA’s growth. Small-unit tactical skills and real-world combat experience gained since 2014 in the Kokang region of Shan state with ethnic Chinese forces of the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army have also been important.

The AA’s combat capabilities have also been underpinned by modern small-arms acquired both from the KIA and the powerful United Wa State Army (UWSA), which from behind the shield of its own ceasefire agreement with the government has served as the Northern Alliance’s logistical godfather.

  Myanmar military soldiers in a parade to mark Armed Forces Day, Naypyitaw, March 27, 2018. Photo: Reuters/Stringer

Striking as they all are, though, none of these strengths provides the answer to the question that will soon weigh heavily on AA field commanders in Rakhine state: how to sustain and expand guerrilla forces while avoiding being ground down by superior Tatmadaw firepower? In Rakhine as elsewhere, that will depend on a reliable and steady source of munitions and lines of supply between that source and front-line combatants.

The AA faces daunting challenges on both counts. To date, the group’s primary source of munitions has been the KIA and the UWSA. If not entirely dependent on China, both armed groups are certainly subject to Chinese influence and pressure.

And, given that Beijing has no interest in the Rakhine war spreading state-wide to impact on its Belt and Road Initiative specifically and national economic and political stability generally it seems likely that both the KIA and UWSA will be under growing pressure to distance themselves from logistic support for the AA.

Supply lines promise to be even more problematic. There is certainly no “Tun Myat Naing Trail” leading from KIA bases on the Chinese border across north-central Myanmar and through the rugged hills of Chin state down to Rakhine state. In a tribute to its ingenuity and persistence, the AA has evidently since 2014 managed to infiltrate men and weapons by motor road into both Rakhine state and neighboring Paletwa township of southern Chin state, where the group has reportedly set up a network of camps.

To date, this process has been sufficient to build up a force loosely estimated at between 2,000 or 2,500 combatants in the Rakhine-south Chin theater. But as the conflict escalates, moving significant supplies of munitions into either region along roads subject to tight Tatmadaw scrutiny will become increasingly difficult.

That will likely complicate the expansion of AA guerrilla forces into Rakhine’s south, where China has interests in developing the deep-sea Kyaukphyu port as part of a BRI vision of giving China’s landlocked southern provinces access to the Indian Ocean.

The logistics dilemma will inevitably require the AA to look towards and across Myanmar’s western borders with India and Bangladesh – rugged, road-less, mostly jungle covered hills where its forces in both Chin and Rakhine states are already operating.

Indeed, in the aftermath of January 4 attacks on police posts in Rakhine’s Buthidaung township, the Myanmar government publicly asserted that the AA was already operating in two camps inside Bangladesh – an allegation angrily dismissed by the government in Dhaka.

Both India and Bangladesh are clearly monitoring the Rakhine crisis closely due to the porous nature of their borders with Myanmar. For its part, New Delhi has sought in recent years to offset Chinese influence in Myanmar by improving relations at all levels with Naypyidaw — with military-to-military cooperation accorded particular attention.

Frustration in New Delhi over the unwillingness of the Tatmadaw to move decisively against camps inside Myanmar run by insurgents from India’s northeast has festered for years. Nevertheless, the Indian government has nothing to gain and much to lose by turning a blind eye to AA bases inside Indian territory, let alone to AA attempts to establish covert supply lines through India’s perennially restless northeast.

Indeed, India’s cooperation with Myanmar in denying sanctuary to the AA inside the northeastern Indian state of Mizoram provides New Delhi with perfect leverage to encourage more assertive Tatmadaw action against Indian rebels known to be active in Myanmar’s northwestern Sagaing Division. From Naypyidaw’s perspective, Bangladesh presents an altogether different dilemma.

Since Tatmadaw-led pogroms in 2016 and 2017 drove well over 800,000 Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh, typically frosty relations between the two neighbors have plummeted. Despite the Memorandum of Understanding on Rohingya repatriation signed in November 2017, there has been no indication that Naypyidaw is willing to make concessions on either Rohingya citizenship rights or international monitoring mechanisms that would be basic preconditions for any large-scale return of refugees.

Naypyidaw’s accusation that Bangladesh has permitted the AA to set up two camps inside its territory indicates clearly that Myanmar’s government is concerned that Dhaka is ready to use the AA to advance its position.

Justified or otherwise, those fears have almost certainly been exacerbated by two recent attacks in Rakhine state’s Maungdaw township attributed to the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) after a year of almost total military inaction by the rebel group. Those attacks included an ambush of a police vehicle on January 16 and an attack on a border post allegedly carried out from the Bangladeshi side of the border on January 24.

                A silhouetted Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army fighter against the rebel group’s flag. Photo: YouTube

Yet it’s doubtful that Dhaka has the political appetite or operational wherewithal to mount a diplomatically risky campaign of covert support for the AA under the current circumstances, regional and Western security officials and other analysts told Asia Times.

Several sources said that the possible presence of AA operatives inside Bangladesh’s Bandarban district, where the local Marmar Buddhists are ethnic cousins of Myanmar’s Rakhine, would owe more to the realities of ethnic ties and smuggling activities across a rugged border than to any broader strategy by Bangladesh’s military intelligence directorate aimed to support insurgency inside Myanmar.

Given the high level of mutual suspicion in both militaries and the presence of armed non-state actors on both sides of the border, gauging how events might unfold in the weeks ahead is difficult. But as one intelligence official commented to Asia Times: “Insurgent activity along and across porous borders and mistrust between the two militaries are a recipe for military miscalculations.”

For now, however, there is little to suggest that the AA’s new war will secure the sources of munitions along reliable supply lines it will need to expand its fight in the coming months. And that realization will almost certainly encourage the Tatmadaw to ramp up operations, as it has in recent days, with an aim to decimate the AA before the Rakhine conflict spreads any further.

Asia Times has relaunched on www.asiatimes.com. Download our brand new native App for a sweeping selection of geopolitical and business news from across Asia.

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Source: https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/01/article/why-myanmar-cant-shake-its-drug-problem/

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PM Hasina saved world leaders from disgrace sheltering Rohingyas: FM

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03:47 PM, February 10, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:01 PM, February 10, 2019

PM Hasina saved world leaders from disgrace sheltering Rohingyas: FM

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen. Photo: Collected

UNB, Dhaka

 Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has saved the face of the global leaders from “ignominy and disgrace” by sheltering the persecuted people of Rakhine province of Myanmar.

“If she hadn’t given them shelter, it would have ended up with the gravest and worst genocide of the century since WWII,” he said urging the world leaders to show genuine commitment to human rights values by sending them back to their place of origin with safety and dignity.

Terming Bangladesh a big example of valuing human rights by sheltering Rohingyas, he said allowing Rohingyas to go back to their place of origin in Myanmar with freedom of movement and other basic human rights would be the be the best way of showing respect to human rights.

The Foreign Minister was addressing the inaugural session of a seminar on Human Rights at Inter-Continental Hotel in Dhaka. United Nations Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo, among others, spoke.

Foreign Minister Dr Momen said there are nearly 1.2 million Rohingya or ‘displaced residents’ of Rakhine province being sheltered in Bangladesh now. “They need to be repatriated with safely and security at the earliest. Their exodus was created by Myanmar and it is their responsibility to solve it,” he said.

These Rohingyas, Dr Momen said, are stateless people, they lived in Myanmar for centuries and Myanmar itself, a State – is failing to fulfil its obligations and responsibilities towards its own people. “My fear is that, if this problem lingers for a longer time, it may encourage creating pockets of radicalism and that may create problems of uncertainty and instability not only for Myanmar and Bangladesh but for the entire region,” he said.

Therefore, Dr Momen said, Rohingyas must go back to their homes, the earlier the better and the global leadership must come forward to resolve this crisis at its root, not in Bangladesh. “Bangladesh seeks your proactive cooperation in resolving this matter of grave concern.”

He reminded that unless Bangladesh stands like a solid-rock to end atrocities and the worst form of human rights violation termed by UN High Commissioner of Human Rights as ‘classic example of ethnic cleansing’ and by others as ‘genocide’ in Myanmar, their efforts will never be of much value.

He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina through sheltering these persecuted people has become a ‘role model of humanity’, and a ‘leader of the world in protecting human rights and values’. “No wonder, the UN members overwhelmingly voted Bangladesh again into its Human Rights Commission,” he mentioned.

 Related Topics : Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, Myanmar Rohingya crisis, Ethnic Rohingya refugees

Source: https://www.thedailystar.net/rohingya-crisis/prime-minister-saved-global-leaders-disgrace-sheltering-rohingya-refugee-1700092

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Dhaka wants ‘safe haven’ for Rohingyas in Rakhine

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Published:  01:05 AM, 10 February2019 

 Dhaka wants ‘safe haven’ for Rohingyas in Rakhine

Aminul Islam Mirja/BSS

Bangladesh wants a “safe haven” for the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals in Rakhine state by ensuring their safe, secured and dignified repatriation under the monitoring of India, China and other ASEAN nations.

“We want a safe haven for the Rohingya people in Myanmar’s Rakhine state and that haven has to be monitored by India, China and other ASEAN nations As China and India are friendly to Myanmar, it may accept this proposal,” said Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen here last evening.

Talking to BSS, Momen said that he requested his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj during their meeting yesterday to take up the proposal with Myanmar’s Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi about which the latter replied “let me see.” “When I shared my idea to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi about ensuring a safe haven of Rohingyas in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, he described the idea as an ‘innovative’ one,” he said.

The Bangladesh foreign minister, who left New Delhi for Dhaka this afternoon after wrapping up his three-day official tour in the neighboring state, said our main objective is to ensure safe return of Rohingyas in their mother land.

Otherwise, he said “there may be developed radicalism and uncertainty may looms in the region that may hinder the regional peace and stability. Bangladesh being an over populated country has been facing huge challenges to manage the burden of over 10 lakh Rohingyas in its land.”

Describing the humanitarian gesture of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the Rohingyas, who fled torture to Bangladesh, Momen said the prime minister has saved the world from seeing huge killings, otherwise, it could have been the second largest “genocide” after the World War II.

In this connection, Momen said over 24,000 people were killed, 18,000 women raped and 1, 20,000 house destroyed, 1, 15000 houses were burnt in Myanmar Rakhine state. “If we had not given them shelter, there could have been more disaster,” he added.

When asked about his visit to India, the foreign minister said “it was very good and productive visit”. “The way the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, Sushma Ji (Sushma Swaraj) and even the former Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh received me, I was simply overwhelmed,” he continued.

About the Teesta river water sharing deal, Momen said not only Teesta, Bangladesh wants resolution of all outstanding issues through discussion. He said “a solution to the sharing of all the 54 common rivers should be found. We should not be fixated on just one river”.

In this regard, he mentioned the solution of land demarcation dispute with India. “We would be able to solve all outstanding problems with our neighboring countries through discussion as Bangladesh-India is now enjoying a ‘very warm’ relation”.

About the Indian 4.5 billion dollars Line of Credit (LOC) to Bangladesh, the foreign minister said that he had requested the Indian authority to expedite the process.

Author : Aminul Islam Mirja/BSS

Source: https://dailyasianage.com/news/162855/dhaka-wants-safe-haven-for-rohingyas-in-rakhine

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World must not turn away from Rohingyas: Angelina Jolie

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08:50 PM, February 07, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:57 PM, February 07, 2019

World must not turn away from Rohingyas: Angelina Jolie

Star Online Report

 Hollywood superstar Angelina Jolie. Reuters’ file photo

 UNHCR envoy and Hollywood superstar Angelina Jolie today said the world must not turn away from the nearly one million Rohingya refugees who have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh.

She also urged the world leaders to provide their continued support to the displaced Rohingya refugees, until the Myanmar authorities show the genuine commitment needed to end a decades-long cycle of violence and displacement, according to a press release of the UNHCR.

Jolie, who left Dhaka early today after concluding her visit to Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, also expressed concerns that the future of a generation of Rohingya children would be at risk without an urgent expansion and strengthening of educational opportunities.

The Special Envoy of the UNHCR held official meetings with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, yesterday where she expressed UNHCR’s gratitude to the people and Government of Bangladesh for their generosity in receiving over 700,000 refugees since August 2017.

Her visit came just ahead of a new funding appeal, the 2019 Joint Response Plan (JRP), to be launched next week by UNHCR, along with other humanitarian agencies, said the UNHCR. It seeks to raise more than US$920 million to assist Rohingya refugees and affected local communities this year. Jolie reiterated UNHCR’s support for collective efforts to enable Rohingyas to live dignified lives in Bangladesh and the pursuit of lasting solutions.

Jolie began her three-day visit on Monday at Chakmarkul and Kutupalong Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar, where she heard testimonies from Rohingya women, children and men who have endured a lifetime of persecution and discrimination.

There she witnessed some of the remarkable humanitarian response efforts to date, including a registration process, led jointly by the government and UNHCR that is providing many refugees with a legal identity for the first time. She also visited a transit centre for newly arrived refugees and a hospital giving much-needed care and support to women and girls.

She, during her visit, said until the Rohingya refugees can voluntarily return home to Myanmar, all have a collective responsibility to ensure that they can continue to live dignified lives in Bangladesh.

 Related Topics: Rohingya refugees

Source: https://www.thedailystar.net/rohingya-crisis/news/world-must-not-turn-away-rohingyas-angelina-jolie-1698928

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