Rohingyas a big burden on Bangladesh: PM

Special Correspondent

20 September, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Terming Rohingyas as a big burden on Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said that Myanmar should take back its displaced citizens who were provided with shelter here on humanitarian grounds.

“Rohingyas have become a big burden for Bangladesh. The local people of Cox’s Bazar are suffering because of them… Myanmar should take its citizens back,” she said.

The premier told two separate delegations of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group when it paid a joint courtesy call on her at Ganabhaban in the capital.

PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.

The premier extended her sincere thanks to the local people of Cox’s Bazar for enduring sufferings caused by the Rohingyas.

She recalled that some 10 million Bangladeshis had taken shelter as refugees in India during the 1971 Liberation War.

Two separate delegations of the visiting UK Conservative Friends of Bangladesh and the delegation of UK APPG on Population, Development and Reproductive Health paid a courtesy call on the Bangladesh Prime Minister.

The UK All-Party Parliamentary Group Chair Anne Main led the delegations.

The UK APPG delegation handed over a written report to the premier on their visit to the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar.

The visiting team appreciated Bangladesh for showing the humanitarian gesture by providing shelter for the displaced people.

Noting their earlier visit to Rohingya camps two years ago, the team found that the condition in the Rohingya camps has improved remarkably within the period.

They reiterated their support to Bangladesh over the Rohingya issue.

The UK APPG delegation appreciated Bangladesh for the socioeconomic development and the birth control policy.

The policy Bangabandhu had adopted after the Liberation War to control birth is very effective and the birth control example of Bangladesh is also mentioned in many UK reports, they said adding the socioeconomic development Bangladesh has embarked on is very impressive.

The Prime Minister said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had a dream to liberate the country and ensure economic emancipation of the people of Bangladesh.

But, unfortunately he was assassinated when the progress of the country had started, said Sheikh Hasina, elder daughter of Bangabandhu.

She said her government has relentlessly been working to implement the dream of Bangabandhu by making a poverty- and hunger-free Bangladesh.

Sheikh Hasina said her government is striving for socioeconomic uplift of the country. The main task is to improve the condition of the rural areas and rural masses, she said.

She also said the per capita income has increased to US$ 1909 now from US$ 543 in 2006 and the power generation capacity increased to over 22,000 megawatt from 3,200 megawatt in 2006.

About the health sector, the Prime Minister said her government set up some 18,000 community clinics to reach the healthcare services to the doorstep of the grassroots people.

She said some 30 free medicines are provided from clinics. Women and children are largely being benefited from the community clinics, the PM added.

About education, she said the government is now providing stipends to mothers of primary schoolchildren through electronic transfer system to ensure their enrollment.

About Bangladesh-UK relations, she said Britain has always been assisting Bangladesh in its drive to achieve economic progress.

‘It (the relation) will grow to a great extent,’ the PM was quoted as saying.

PM’s Political Affairs Adviser HT Imam, Principal Secretary MD Nojibur Rahman and British High Commissioner in Dhaka Robert Chatterton Dickson were present on the occasion.