Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday reiterated her call to the international community, including the United Nations, to keep up their pressure on Myanmar to properly implement the Annan Commission report on Rohingya issue to solve the crisis.
The Prime Minister made the call when visiting UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka met her at her Jatiya Sangsad office in the evening.
After the meeting, PM Additional Press Secretary Nazrul Islam briefed reporters.
Sheikh Hasina pointed to the plight of the Rohingyas, particularly women and children, displaced from Myanmar.
She said Bangladesh has given shelter to a large number of Rohingyas on humanitarian ground. But, the huge displaced Myanmar nationals are causing sufferings to the residents of Cox’s Bazar alongside creating pressure on food production as a vast track of cultivable lands being used for their accommodation, the PM added.
Hasina defended her government’s move to shift the Rohingyas to Bhashanchar, an island in Noakhali, to keep them away from densely populated localities on security grounds. “If the displaced people stay in overpopulated areas, they could easily be motivated to militancy and terrorism.”
Initially, she said, some one lakh Rohingyas will be shifted there and the housing works are in progress to this end.
The Prime Minister also raised the issue of women empowerment saying that the Leader of the House, the Speaker, the Deputy Leader and the Leader of Opposition are now women in Parliament, which is a unique example in the world.
Besides, women are now getting elected to all local government bodies, including union parishads, upazila parishads and municipalities in direct balloting.
As part of women empowerment, Hasina said some 60 percent quotas are kept aside for women in recruitment of primary school teachers.
Various measures like the distribution of free textbooks and providing stipends have played a significant role in women empowerment, said Hasina adding that now the enrolment rate of girl students in schools is higher than that of boys.
During the meeting, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said she will submit a report over the plight of Rohingyas to the committee concerned of the UN Security Council following her visit to the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar.
She said she was really impressed seeing the empowerment of women and the government’s measures implemented in this regard under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Md Nojibur Rahman and PMO Acting Secretary Sajjadul Hassan were present.