Sunday, 5 December, 2021

Urge ASEAN, QUAD friends to distance from Myanmar military: Dhaka to Washington

Urge ASEAN, QUAD friends to distance from Myanmar military: Dhaka to Washington

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Bangladesh Ambassador to the United States M Shahidul Islam has said the USA can persuade its friends in ASEAN and QUAD to distance themselves from the Myanmar military forces so that they refrain from culpability in the genocide. 

He sought more support from the USA in resolving the Rohingya crisis with mounting pressure on Myanmar. 

"Bangladesh believes that the United States can do more to mobilize international pressure on Myanmar to end the Rohingya crisis," said the Bangladesh envoy while addressing a webinar. 

The United States may bring the Rohingya issue on the G-7 Summit agenda to show the strong resolve of the international community for a solution to the Rohingya crisis, said the Ambassador. 

Atlantic Council, a leading think tank based in Washington DC, in partnership with Bangladesh Embassy in Washington DC, hosted the webinar titled “A new Bhashan Char agreement: What now for the Rohingya in Bangladesh” on Wednesday night. 

Atlantic Council’s South Asia Centre featured Ambassador Shahidul Islam, who delivered keynote speech on the theme of the event and participated in a question-and-answer session. 

Senior Director of Atlantic Council’s South Asia Centre Irfan Nooruddin gave an introductory remark while non-resident senior fellow Rudabeh Shahid moderated the event.

The United States may cancel all types of preferential treatment, including GSP facilities enjoyed by Myanmar, said the envoy. 

Apart from reintroducing all pre-2016 sanctions, entities involved in trade with Myanmar need to be discouraged from engaging with Myanmar, he said. 

"The United States can also speed up determination of genocide and crimes against humanity against the Rohingya as promised earlier.”

Ambassador Islam said, “There’s nothing inherently wrong with any religion, race, or nationality; the problem emanates when these identities are used to generate malice and hatred for political or economic reasons.” 

He called upon the international community to bring the traders of malice to justice if to establish a rule-based international order.

Among other aspects, Ambassador Islam highlighted the genesis of the crisis, the Bangladesh government’s generous welcoming of the Rohingyas who fled widespread atrocities in Myanmar, Bangladesh’s sincere efforts to facilitate their return to Myanmar, recent developments in the camps, and the agreement signed by Bangladesh government with UN. 

The Bangladesh Ambassador categorically mentioned that whatever political developments take place in Myanmar, the Rohingya crisis has to be resolved by Myanmar as they have created the crisis. 

He added that Myanmar cannot be absolved from the responsibility, no matter whatever form of government runs the country.

Ambassador Islam appreciated the role of the United States in mitigating humanitarian needs and sought more support from the USA in resolving the Rohingya crisis. 

The discussants recalled with gratitude the generosity of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in sheltering the survivors of mass atrocities and saving their lives. 

The Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center expressed gratitude to the Bangladesh Ambassador for his willingness to engage in the conversation.