Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday reiterated her call to Myanmar to begin the repatriation of forcibly displaced Rohingyas, saying that they (Myanmar) must take back their nationals from Bangladesh. “The repatriation process should be started. How long will we bear the burden? … The sooner the Rohingyas are repatriated, the better it will be for all,” she said.
The prime minister made the remarks as French Ambassador Marie-Annick Bourdin paid a farewell call on her at her official Ganabhaban residence here this afternoon. Sheikh Hasina said international organisations and UN agencies should work inside Myanmar for the rehabilitation of the displaced Rohingyas including construction of houses for them.
Referring to the influx of 1.1 million Rohingyas into Cox’s Bazar, Sheikh Hasina said they outnumbered local people. “As many as 40,000 Rohingya babies have so far been born in Rohingya camps,” she said.
In reply, the French ambassador said her country will continue to support Bangladesh on the Rohingya issue. “We started supporting Bangladesh on the issue right from the
beginning and it will continue,” she said. Marie-Annick Bourdin, however, said the situation in Myanmar for the return of Rohingyas is not conducive at present. The ambassador said the role France is playing in the climate change issue will continue.
While talking about climate change issue, the premier said the Paris Agreement should be implemented.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is contributing less to the case of carbon emission, but the country is the worst sufferers in the event of climate change. “Coastal districts of the country will be affected for the climate change,” she said.
The premier mentioned that the government has set up a climate change resilience trust fund with Taka 1000 crore to combat climate change. “We will erect a green belt in the coastal areas to fight climate change,” she said.
The prime minister recalled that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman first took the initiative to construct multipurpose cyclone shelters.
Sheikh Hasina congratulated the outgoing ambassador for completing her successful tenure in Bangladesh and appreciated her commendable efforts and hard work to further strengthen and broaden bilateral relations between the two countries.
The ambassador mentioned that the people and officials are very warm and friendly. PM’s Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman was present on the occasion.
Earlier in the day, Sheikh Hasina emphasised on strengthening waterway connectivity to promote trade and commerce between Bangladesh and India, UNB adds.