We thank Pope Francis for visiting Bangladesh and expressing his willingness to continue efforts to safeguard the rights of Rohingya minorities in Myanmar. During the visit, he met with Christians as well as people of other faiths, including Rohingya Muslims, and shared his good will and love for the humanity. Although there has been no tangible outcome of the visit so far, it generated much hope that humanity will prevail in the end.
Before coming to Bangladesh, the Pope had also visited Myanmar with his mission of upholding the cause of the oppressed and persecuted. He urged the government of Myanmar to ensure justice and human dignity for the persecuted people. Although he has been criticised for not uttering the word ‘Rohingya’ in Myanmar, he defended himself by saying that if in his public remarks he used the word, he would be “slamming the door in the face” of the local government.
Everyone knows what his visit was meant for, and we hope the leadership of Myanmar will understand his message of peace and harmony. Overall, the Pope is extraordinarily pro-people. He preached peace and harmony both in Myanmar and Bangladesh and held interfaith dialogue and prayers.
The government of Bangladesh has been caring for the basic needs of nearly one million Rohingya refugees, who have fled from the Rakhine state of Myanmar. Many still continue to come to Bangladesh because of the fear of being brutally persecuted and killed by the Myanmar army.
This is a big problem in our country now. We earnestly desire that the Myanmar government will concede to the global feeling and will be sincere and serious for making realistic plan for getting its people from Bangladesh back as soon as possible.
The Pope urged the World to stand by Bangladesh in dealing with the Rohingya crisis. While speaking to a group of Rohingyas in Dhaka, he told them, “We will not close your hearts to you.” We wish the Pope will remain committed to the peace building process as long as peace does not return in Myanmar’s Rakhine state and Rohingyas are not peacefully resettled at their home.