Bangladesh on Thursday rejected a BBC report which states that a group of Rohingya people are adrift in the sea off the coast of Bangladesh.
In a statement, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said the attention of the Government of Bangladesh has been drawn to a BBC news story headlined ‘Rohingya Crisis: UN urges rescue of refugees adrift at sea’.
“Referring to the UN, the report has wrongly claimed that these people were adrift at the sea off the coast of Bangladesh, while the press release issued by the UNHCR and the subsequent news release of the UN clearly mentioned that the boat was located in the Andaman sea”, said the foreign ministry.
The UN news release clearly specified the location of the Andaman Sea which lies to the southeast of the Bay of Bengal, south of Myanmar, west of Thailand and the east of India’s Andaman and the Nicobar Islands.
The ministry further said the boat has been traced approximately 1700 kilometres away from Bangladesh at a location which is approximately 492 kilometres from Myanmar, 363 km from Thailand, 281 km from Indonesia and 147 km from India.
The location is far off the territorial water of Bangladesh and proximate to other littoral states.
Bangladesh said it is respectful of its international obligations under the UNCLOS.
“It is worth mentioning that when other littoral countries of the region repeatedly denied Rohingyas access, the Government of Bangladesh came to their rescue.”
According to the ministry, other states on whose territorial water the vessel has been found should take the responsibility and fulfil their obligation under international law and the burden-sharing principle.