Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Dhaka has urged the authorities in Yangon to take back Rohingyas from Bangladesh, with a hope that the two countries would be able to resolve the problem through bilateral talks.
Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina made the call when National Security Advisor of Myanmar U Thaung Tun called on her in the capital Dhaka on Tuesday, reports Mizzima.
“We will solve the problem bilaterally,” she told the Myanmar advisor, who arrived on Sunday on a three-day official visit to Bangladesh.
The prime minister also said about 30,000 registered Myanmar Rohingyas are now living in Bangladesh. However, she estimated the actual number is more than 400,000.
Sheikh Hasina was concerned about the intensified suffering of the Rohingya during the monsoon season and said: “Bangladesh is ready to extend all cooperation for repatriation of the Rohingyas.”
The influx of Rohingya refugees began anew in October last year when Myanmar military launched a so-called counterinsurgency drive in Rakhine state as the religious minority group claimed that they were tortured in their homeland and was forced to cross the border.
At least 74,000 minority Muslims, out of 92,000, widely known as Rohingyas, entered Bangladesh since October 9, 2016, according to the UNHCR estimates.
The prime minister’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
The press secretary mentioned that the prime minister drew the attention of the Myanmar’s national security advisor to the smuggling of drugs, especially Yaba, into Bangladesh from Myanmar.
She also sought cooperation from the Myanmar government in stopping such smuggling.
In reply, the Myanmar security advisor assured the prime minister of all sorts of cooperation for eradicating drug smuggling, according to the PM’s press secretary.
“We need to address the cause,” Mr Tun said while talking about refugee problem adding that his country wants peace and development in both countries as Myanmar is keen to maintain good relations with its neighbours.
The current focus of his country was to restore internal peace side by side expediting development, the Myanmar advisor said, adding that national verification system is going on to control the insurgency problem.
About the military-to-military contacts, he said both countries are sharing information on security matters, and emphasised enhancing economic cooperation between the two neighbouring nations.
Regarding the gas sale from Myanmar to Bangladesh, the advisor said both countries could discuss the matter.
Earlier on Sunday, the Myanmar advisor met with Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and expressed the desire of his government to develop further bilateral relations with Bangladesh.
He also expressed the interest of Myanmar to address the differences between the two neighbours through discussion.
The advisor put emphasis on the need for enhancing cooperation between the two countries in the security sector and expressed happiness on recently held meetings among defence and border forces, according to a statement, issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh.
The advisor opined that economic development could help reduce tension among the two communities in Rakhine and contribute to there solution of problems.
He also agreed on the importance of commencing bilateral discussion on repatriation of Myanmar residents from Bangladesh, according to the statement.
Myanmar’s advisor also met with Minister for Home Affairs of Bangladesh Asaduzzaman Khan during his visit.
Mr Tun is a career diplomat who has served as Myanmar’s ambassador to various countries and the European Union in his 38 years of service.
The position of national security adviser was created by the Myanmar government in January this year and is seen as a response to the various ethnic conflicts in its border states.