Visit of Pope Francis, the highest spiritual leader of the Catholics was significant in view of influx of the Rohingya refugees to Bangladesh. The Rohingyas, a Muslim minority people from Myanmar are being subjected to persecution and torture by the military junta of the country and compelled to flee their homeland and leading the life of rootless floating refugees. The big powers of the world have been keeping quiet apart from releasing a few statements every now and then.
The Pope referred to the Rohingya people by name when he visited Bangladesh, but unfortunately avoided to mention the word "Rohingya" when he was in Myanmar. This was received by people here and elsewhere in the peace-loving world with great disappointment. The pope however was deeply moved to see the sufferings of the Rohingya people and assured them of continued support from the Vatican and help them get back their rights.
In a brief but strongly worded speech that followed an emotional encounter with a small group of the refugees who have fled to Bangladesh, he asked for forgiveness for all that the Rohingyas have suffered "in the face of the world's indifference". The Pope said in a gathering of interfaith leaders in Dhaka that "Today the presence of God is also called Rohingya."
He urged the world not to ignore refugees, persecuted minorities, the poor and the vulnerable. While subscribing fully to the ideas and feelings of the Pope, we hope that he would review his stance regarding the rulers of Myanmar and convince them to stop their repression against the innocent Rohingyas. We also urge upon him to call upon the big powers to influence the Burmese junta to stop persecuting the Rohingyas and return them their civil rights and rights of citizenship. Bangladesh has already sheltered about a million Rohingyas despite having so many problems of its own and it should not be further burdened with additional problems.
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