Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said her government attached priority to send back Rohingyas to their homeland Myanmar.
“Our priority is to repatriate the forcibly displaced Rohingyas taken shelter in Bangladesh to their homeland,” she said.
The Prime Minister made the remarks on Thursday when the US State Department Under Secretary General regarding Civilian, Security, Democracy and Human Rights Uzra Zeya paid a courtesy call on her on the sidelines of the 78th UNGA.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen briefed newsmen about the Prime Minister’s engagements on the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) here.
They also discussed various global and regional issues during the meeting.
At the meeting, Uzra Zeya informed the Prime Minister that they have decided to allocate $116 million for Bangladesh and Myanmay for rehabilitation of Rohingyas.
She (Zeya) stressed the need for creating employment for Rohingyas to ensure their better livelihood.
The US Under Secretary General stressed the need for ensuring safety and security of the Rohingyas prior to starting to send back Rohingyas to their homeland.
The Prime Minister said Rohingya repatriation should start as early as possible otherwise the region will fall into security threats as the Rohingyas have been engaging in criminal activities that included killings, firearms smuggling and trading.
Rohingyas have become frustrated as their repatriation has been prolonged and get involved in criminal activities and they are sensing no future there.
Sheikh Hasina also sought international support to the case filed with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) by Gambia.
As many as seven countries France, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Denmark and the Maldives gave consent to the case.
During the meeting, they also discussed about the next general election in Bangladesh.
Uzra Zeya said they want a free, fair and violence-free election in Bangladesh. The foreign minister said they also want a free, fair election.
“Sincere cooperation from all, particularly from the political parties, is required to hold a violence-free election,” he said.
Momen said no government can hang onto power without people’s support.
“We believe in the vote of the people. None can assume power without people’s vote. If anyone comes to power through vote rigging, they can’t remain in power,” he said.
The national election of Bangladesh will be held as per the country’s constitution, the foreign minister added.
In reply to a query of sending election observers by the USA in October next few months before the next general election, Momen said, “We welcome foreign observers in the next general election.”
Most of the countries including India, the USA and the UK do not allow election observers.
The foreign minister said if the foreigners described anything well then it will be fine otherwise it will be wrong.
“We don’t want to run the country by taking certificates from foreigners,” he said.
UN’s Special Envoy on the Prevention of Genocide Alice Wairimu Nderitu also paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
At that time, the Prime Minister urged the UN to give recognition of the mass killing during the War of Liberation in 1971 as a genocide.
Besides, she has sought cooperation from the UN to continue the trial of genocide in Myanmar.