PM asks officials to deal with Rohingya issues thru coordination

Published: September 12, 2017 Updated: 11:17 pm

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today directed officials of the civil administration, army, navy and coast guard and other organisations of the government to work in coordination with each other while dealing with the relief distribution and other issues relating to Myanmar refugees intruded into Bangladesh.

She asked the Cabinet Secretary to look into the issue of coordination in consultation with the Prime Minister Office (PMO) so that entire relief works and refugee management could be handled in a planned manner.

The Prime Minister gave the directives while exchanging views with public representatives, civil and military officials and local leaders of Cox’s Bazar district at Circuit House here.

Sheikh Hasina instructed the officials to remain carful about the belongings and luggages carried by the refugees as well as relief workers to check possibility of smuggling of any contraband items or arms and explosive in the country.

In the same way, similar measures should be taken to make it clear what are being taken back by the relief workers, she said.

The prime minister directed the authorities to give identity card to every refugee which would be easy to carry for all time and be easy to identify them as Myanmar nationals.

The prime minister asked the officials to stay alert so that none can create any communal disturbance in Cox’s Bazar in plea of torture on Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. The armed miscreants of Myanmar may try to create trouble in Bangladesh also, she warned.

Pointing out her government’s zero tolerance to terrorism, the Premier said her government never support the activities of the insurgents. “It’s our core policy,” she said, adding that Bangladesh will never allow anybody to use its land against any its neighbours or any other country.

The prime minister asked the officials and doctors to take care specially to the children who are suffering from fever or diseases and lost their parents in the conflict.

We have to give special attention to ensure their security and check trafficking, she said, adding that children should be given a homely environment to live up.

The prime minister laid importance on necessary supervision of the relief works private organisations and international bodies asking the authorities to engage local elected representatives and political leaders with this work.

Referring various projects undertaken in tourist city Cox’s Bazar, the prime minister said foreign investments are linked to the projects. So, security of the foreign investors is very important issue and the government must ensure it, she said.

In this regard, the Prime Minister directed the Army, BGB, RAB, Police and Coast Guard to strengthen its petrol and monitoring activities in the region to check any subversive activities, she said asking the forces to face the critical situation with courage and fortitude.

The Prime Minister also laid importance on coordination among the local and international organisations like WFP, ICRC, UNHCR and IOM on the refugee issue saying the international bodies have to work to pursue Myanmar to take back their nationals.

It cannot be accepted that Myanmar Government would drive away the Rakhaine people from their homes who are as living in Myanmar for hundreds of years, she said.

The prime minister directed leaders of Cox’s Bazar District Awami League to form committees to smoothly conduct distribution of relief materials among the refugees.

Prime Minister’s Younger Sister Sheik Rehana, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Housing and Public Works Minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, Foreign Minister AH Mahmud Ali, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, Minister for Relief and Disaster Management Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, Chief Whip A S M Firoz, among others, were present.

Besides, Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary, Chief Coordinator of the PMO on SDG affairs, Army Chief General Abu Belal Mohammad Shafiul Haq and IGP M Shahidul Haque, regional commanders of law enforcing and security forces attended the meeting.

Deputy Commissioner of Cox’s Bazar district Ali Hossain appraised the Prime Minister overall situation of the Cox’s Bazar against the backdrop of exodus of huge number of Mayanmar nationals of Rohingya ethnicity.

He said so far 3, 70,600 Myanmar nationals intruded in Bangladesh since August 25 in 2017, and they are now staying in the registered and unregistered refugee camps in Ukhiya and Teknaf.

Thousands of others are waiting on Bangladesh-Myanmar border to enter Bangladesh, he also said.

National Desk (BSS)