Bangladesh seeks 'cooperation of all' in sending back Rohingya refugees

Bangladesh seeks 'cooperation of all' in sending back Rohingya refugees

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina during the annual convocation of Visva Bharati University, in Birbhum, on Friday. PTI

Bangladesh on Friday sought the "cooperation of all" to put pressure on Myanmar to take back the around 11 lakh Rohingya refugees given shelter in the country on "humanitarian ground".

Speaking at the inauguration of the Bangladesh Bhavan here, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said her government wants Myanmar to take refugees back as early as possible.

"Eleven lakh Rohingya refugees have come to Bangladesh. We have given them shelter on humanitarian ground. We want them to return as early as possible. We want Myanmar government to take them back," she said.

"We want cooperation from all on this issue so that there is pressure on the Myanmar government to take them back," she said.

According to the United Nations, the humanitarian crisis caused by escalating violence in Myanmar's Rakhine State has forced several lakh Rohingyas to cross the border into Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar.

Not only has the pace of arrivals since August last year made this the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world, the concentration of refugees in Cox's Bazar is now among the densest in the world.

"We have a population of 16 crore. If necessary, we will share our food with them (Rohingyas)," Hasina said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the last few years have been a golden chapter in India-Bangladesh relationship during which complicated issues of land and coastal boundaries were resolved.

Modi, who greeted Sheikh Hasina in Bengali, said the government would take initiatives to ensure that the youth of both the countries get to know about the cultural contributions made by dignitaries of the two nations.