World

Bangladesh lambasts Myanmar for ‘atrocities’


Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has lambasted Myanmar for the “atrocities” that have driven hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims across the border into Bangladesh in recent weeks.

The Bangladeshi premier urged Buddhist-majority Myanmar to bring the Rohingya back, while the country’s parliament passed a motion on Monday night urging the UN and other countries to pressure Myanmar for their safety and citizenship.

“Myanmar must take back every Rohingya who has entered Bangladesh and who are coming in now,” she told lawmakers late Monday. “We can cooperate to rehabilitate them in their country,” she added.

Hasina criticised Myanmar’s authorities for the recent violence against the Rohingya, which she said had reached a level beyond description. “We don’t understand why successive Myanmar regimes carried out such atrocities on a particular community when the country is comprised of different groups,” she said, noting that Bangladesh had long been protesting the persecution of Rohingya.

Regardless, “they are sending Rohingya to Bangladesh afresh,” she said. “Women are being raped and tortured, children are being killed, and houses are being set on fire in Rakhine area,” she added.

Bangladesh’s official human rights watchdog said the atrocities by Myanmar authorities against Rohingya must be prosecuted.

“This genocide needs to be tried at international court,” National Human Rights Commission Chairman Kazi Reazul Haque told a news conference in Cox’s Bazar.

“The killing, arson, torture and rape by the Myanmar’s military and border guards is unprecedented,” he said.

He further said stronger action was needed from the international community, including the United Nations, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

He also called on China and India to play a larger role in mitigating the crisis.

According to a message posted Monday on his Facebook account, Bangladesh’s junior Foreign Minister Mohammed Shahriar Alam said Sheikh Hasina had allocated 2,000 acres near the existing camp of Kutupalong “to build temporary shelters for the Rohingya newcomers.”

Hasina is scheduled to visit Rohingya refugees on Tuesday.

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