Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Myanmar Agrees To Take Back Rohingya

Myanmar has agreed to take back from Bangladesh the Rohingya refugees who have been recently verified by the Myanmar authorities as per agreed criteria.

Myanmar President U Thein Sein gave the assurance to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during official talks at the President’s Office Tuesday.

Some 28,000 Mynamar refugees have been staying in camps in Cox’s Bazar for a long period of time.
The Prime Minister said the presence of the Myanmar refugees has been creating social, financial and environmental challenges to Bangladesh.

Appreciating the Myanmar President’s assurance of taking back the refugees, she suggested that a joint working group could be set up to put an end to the refugee problem.
Briefing reporters on the outcome of the talks that lasted for two and half hours, PM’s press secretary Abul Kalam Azad said that a delegation from Myanmar will visit Bangladesh soon to facilitate the repatriation of the Myanmar refugees.

On import of gas and electricity from Myanmar, President U Thein said his government has already committed to export gas to China. He, however, said Myanmar would give preference to Bangladesh if new gas is found in the future.

Hasina said the development process in Bangladesh is being hampered due to shortage of gas and electricity. She said that since Myanmar is a dependable friend, it could share its hydro-electricity potential with Bangladesh.

She said Bangladesh is willing to be either an investment partner or equity share holder in generating hydro-electricity or a direct purchaser of power from Myanmar.

The Prime Minister said Bangladesh wants to import gas for power, fertilizer and other industries.

She also emphasized on increasing the multi-modal connectivity with Myanmar, a close neighbour.

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, Ambassador at Large M Ziauddin, Foreign Secretary Mijarul Quayes, Nazmul Hasan MP, and Bangladesh Ambassador to Myanmar Anup Kumar Chakma were present.