Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday accused a neighbouring of provoking a war situation with Bangladesh which her government evaded exercising restraints.
Speaking at a reception on her return home joining the UN General Assembly session in New York, she said at one stage after the forced exodus of the Myanmar nationals began, the ‘close neighbour’ showed such an attitude that they would engage in a war with Bangladesh.
‘But I alerted our army, BGB and police so that they must not be confused on the face of any provocation as long as I give an order,’ she said.
The premier thanked the armed forces, paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh, police and the people for their patience regarding the matter. ‘Various quarters want to create a situation to divert things in different direction (but) we were very much cautious about that,’ she told the reception at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport’s VVIP lounge.
The premier said Bangladesh took an appropriate position to draw international community’s attention to the Rohingya crisis also compelling Myanmar to open discussions on the issue.
‘Now everyone is sympathised, everyone is extending their hands and everyone is coming forward to help the Rohingyas,’ she said.
The prime minister, however, thanked the Myanmar government at least for their revised gesture in opening up talks against the backdrop of mounting global pressures.
‘I think that this is a special aspect of the issue, I think there is an international pressure on them (and) we will be able to solve the problem gradually through discussion,’ she said.
Sheikh Hasina expressed her gratitude to the people for extending their all out supports to the government stance in providing shelters to over half a million victims of forced exodus from the neighbouring country.
She said for natural and humanitarian reasons Bangladesh offered the Rohingyas the shelter as they were exposed to brutal atrocities with their women, children and elderly people being the worst victims.
‘Human beings are for human beings . . . If necessary, we’ll eat one meal a day and share another meal with these distressed people,’ Sheikh Hasina said.
She, however, pointed out that nearly identical inhuman incidents were taking place in other parts of the globe as well, but many of the countries kept their doors shut for the victims.
Sheikh Hasina acknowledged her sister Sheikh Rehana’s stance beside her in handling the issue and boosting her confidence. She quoted her saying that if Bangladesh could feed its 16 crore people, could you not give shelter or feed to 7/8 lakh people’.
The premier said the hapless Rohingya people who fled to Bangladesh will be relocated from Cox’s Bazar to offshore island of ‘Bhasan Char’ while in the meantime the civil administration, army, navy and air force, BGB, police and her party volunteers were working hard to mitigate their sufferings.
‘Without waiting for any external assistance, we’ve made arrangement for accommodation, food and medicine’ drawing high global appreciation generosity of accepting such a huge number of people by the Bangladesh government.
The prime minister said they feel the sorrow and pain of the Rohingya people as they had to lead a refugee life after the assassination of Bangabandhu in 1975.
Sheikh Hasina recalled that 10 million people from Bangladesh were forced to take shelter in India during the Liberation War when the Pakistani occupation forces launched a massacre in 1971.
Earlier, the leaders of Bangladesh Awami League, 14-party combine, eminent citizens, teachers leaders, Krira Paribar, media personalities, cultural personalities and business community leaders greeted the prime minister by presenting flower bouquets.
Commerce minister Tofail Ahmed, public administration minister Syed Ashraful Islam, LGRD minister engineer Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain, information minister Hasanul Huq Inu, civil aviation and tourism minister Rashed Khan Menon, disaster management and relief minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, food minister Qamrul Islam, land minister Shamsur Rahman Sherif Dilu, cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor, PM’s adviser HT Imam and Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, state minister for public administration Ismat Ara Sadique, state minister for women and children affairs Meher Afroz Chumki, deputy minister for youth and sports Arif Khan Joy, noted writer Rahat Khan, Samakal editor Golam Sarwar, BFUJ president Manzurul Ahsan Bulbul, Jatiya Press Club president Muhammad Shafiqur Rahman and general secretary Farida Yasmin, senior journalist Abed Khan, Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan Papon, Bangladesh National One Day Cricket team captain Mashrafe Bin Martuza, artist Hashem Khan, senior leaders of 14-party combine including Awami League, JSD, Workers Party, Jatiya Party (Manju) , Samyabadi Dal, Tariqat Federation and vice-chancellors of different universities, mass media personalities, artistes, singers were present at the function.
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