ROHINGYA crisis, despite being an internal problem of Myanmar, has engulfed Bangladesh as millions of them from the Rakhine State have been fleeing their homes and taking shelter in the South Asian country. The torture and persecution unleashed by the Myanmar government under a calculated ethnic cleansing programme has already drawn the attention of the world media. More importantly, ceaseless influx of refugees has put our economy under serious pressure and has turned out to be a threat to our national security.
We hope, our government will be able to find a solution to the problem through intensive diplomatic efforts alongside bilateral negotiations. Countries like China, Russia and India could help us find an immediate solution to the problem, but they appear to be less responsive on the issue. Again, according to informed sources, the USA plans to expand its military ties with Myanmar to counter Chinese threats in the region. Only Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia have shown their interests to extend help for the persecuted Rohingyas and are working to mobilise international opinion in their favour.
Needless to say that the Myanmar Army has created conditions that compelled the Rohingya Muslims to flee their motherland and seek shelter elsewhere. It is a clear violation of international law and human rights. Bangladesh has already given shelter to hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees. But being a developing country, it has its limitations. It can not bear the burden of so many refugees for an indefinite period of time. Bangladesh hopes that they will soon return to their country and get back their legitimate rights.
Meanwhile, diplomatic efforts need to be geared up and security should be strengthened with the involvement of the BGB forces to prevent any probable push-in at the Bangladesh border. Finally, our government should organise a massive publicity campaign to draw world attention and raise the issue at the Security Council.
Md. Zahidul Islam (Milton)