Brunei sultan seeks all-out effort to repatriate Rohingyas from Bangladesh

Published: April 22, 2019 19:23:51 | Updated: April 23, 2019 09:32:00

Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei has said the stakeholders should adopt ‘all kind of initiatives’ to repatriate the Rohingyas who have fled Myanmar and taken shelter in Bangladesh confronting the severe atrocities.

Bolkiah expressed his opinion on Rohingya repatriation during a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Bandar Seri Begawan on Monday, reports bdnews24.com.

The meeting between the two leaders took place at Cheradi Laila Kenchana in Istana Nurul Iman, the official residence of the Sultan of Brunei, Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque said.

“Sultan has given a statement on the Rohingya issue. We should reach a solution; we should adopt all kinds of initiatives so that the Rohingyas can go back home,” the foreign secretary said citing the sultan following the meeting.

More than 700,000 Rohingyas have taken refuge in Bangladesh following the crackdown of the Myanmar army in August 2017. There have been 400,000 Rohingyas living in the country over the past decades.

The United Nation, the US and UK along with other countries in the west have described the Myanmar army’s atrocities in the Rohingya villages in Rakhine as a case of “ethnic cleansing.”   Myanmar has dismissed the accusation.

Myanmar said it was ready to accept those of its citizens living in Bangladesh after a scrutiny.

The United Nations said that Myanmar still lacks a favourable environment for Rohingyas to return. The Rohingyas, on the other hand, agreed to return to Myanmar only after their citizenship and constitutional rights are ensured.

Bangladesh has been taking diplomatic initiatives in the international community urging them to pressurise Myanmar to create a favourable situation for the Rohingyas to return home.

“The sultan spoke about the ASEAN involvement in the Rohingya issue on the context of ASEAN Humanitarian Centre,” he said.

Hasina reached Bandar Seri Begawan on Sunday for a three-day official visit to Brunei at the invitation of Bolkiah.

Hasina had a bilateral meeting with the sultan following her courtesy visits to the members of the royal family. Both the countries signed six memoranda of understanding and exchanged a diplomatic note during the bilateral meeting.

 “Sultan Bolkiah congratulated Prime Minister Hasina for forming the government for the third consecutive term after winning the last election,” said the foreign secretary. “It’s an acknowledgement of the people for the socio-economic development in the country,” he said.

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