Rohingya return urgent: Mustafa

Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha . Dhaka | Published: 02:29, Oct 21,2019


Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Sunday said that there is no alternative to the repatriation of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas to Myanmar.

‘There is no alternative for repatriation of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas to Myanmar….we’re being affected heavily for the Rohingyas.  So, it’s urgent to send back the Rohingyas to their own country,’ he said.

The Finance Minister was addressing a roundtable discussion on refugee affairs at the World Bank headquarters in Washington DC yesterday on the sidelines of the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and IMF, said a finance ministry press release received in Dhaka on Sunday.

World Bank vice-president for South Asia region Hartwig Schafer, Finance Division secretary Abdur Rauf Talukder, and Economic Relations Division secretary Monowar Ahmed, were present, among others, at the roundtable.

Seeking support from the World Bank to send back the Rohingyas to their own country in a fastest possible time, Kamal said, ‘We believe that the World Bank will take a positive decision in this regard in consultation with the people of the world,’

Referring to the deal with Myanmar for repatriation of the Rohingyas, he said there is no specific timeline in that adding that a specific timeline is expected to come very soon.

The Finance Minister urged the World Bank to play a strong role for creating massive public consensus so that the forcibly displaced Rohingyas could go back to their country as fast as possible. In response, Schafer expressed positive notion in this regard.

Kamal said although Bangladesh sheltered this huge number of Rohingyas on humanitarian ground, but the country has to pay a heavy toll as Cox’s Bazar has now succumbed to environmental disaster while social and climate change related challenges are also on the rise there.

‘The extent of loss that Bangladesh is incurring due to Rohingya influx can’t be calculated in monetary terms. So, the Rohingyas should be sent back to their own country and this is our main demand,’ he added.

Noting that the government of Bangladesh is not considering financial assistance from the development partners including the World Bank regarding repatriation of the Rohingyas, Kamal said, ‘We hope that the World Bank will show us the path for a better solution to this Rohingya problem,’

Referring to his meetings with the Citi Bank International and HSBC, the Finance Minister said these two banks want to boost their investment in the country’s capital market and bond market. ‘But, any decision in this regard is yet to be taken,’ he added.

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