Rohingya repatriation a collective responsibility: Canadian FM

Diplomatic Correspondent | Published: 00:28, May 15,2020


Repatriation of Rohingya refugees to their home in Myanmar from Bangaldesh is a collective responsibility, Canadian foreign minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said.

He said this in a telephone conversation with Bangladesh foreign minister AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday evening.

The Canadian minister said that his country had been engaged with countries in the region for expediting the process of repatriation, according to the foreign ministry.

He proposed forming an alliance of countries to face the post-COVID-19 challenges.

Foreign minister Momen renewed the call of the Bangladesh government to the Canadian side to send back SHBM Nur Chowdhury, a convicted killer of the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, to Bangladesh.

He also sought support of the Canadian government for continuation of export from Bangladesh instead of cancelling procurement orders by a section of foreign buyers.

Mujib and his family members, save for his two daughters Shiekh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana, were killed by some disgruntled army officers at his Dhanmondi home in Dhaka on 15 August 1975.

Six fugitive convicts were hanged so far after their review and mercy petitions were rejected by appropriate authorities.  

Indian authorities handed over Moslemuddin, another convicted killer, to the Bangladesh authorities recently, according to Indian media reports.

Two other convicted killers Rashed Chowdhury and Nur Chowdhury were hiding in the USA and Canada respectively.

The government does not have any information about two remaining fugitive convicts Abdur Rashid and Shariul Huq Dalim. 

Another convict Md Aziz Pasha died in Zimbabwe in 2001.

More than 7,00,000 Rohingyas, mostly women, children and aged people, entered Bangladesh after fleeing unbridled murder, arson and rape during ‘security operations’ by the Myanmar military in Rakhine, what the United Nations denounced as ‘ethnic cleansing and genocide’, beginning from August 25, 2017.

The ongoing Rohingya influx took the number of undocumented Myanmar nationals and registered refugees in Bangladesh to about 11,16,000, according to estimates by UN agencies and Bangladesh foreign ministry.

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