Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina Asks for India's Help to Resolve Rohingya Issue at Shantiniketan
Bangladesh prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during the inauguration of Bangladesh Bhavan (Photo Credit: ANI)

Kolkata, May 25: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked her Indian counterpart Prime Minister Narendra Modi to put pressure on Myanmar government to take back their Rohingya people during their meeting in Shantiniketan on Friday.

During the inauguration of Bangladesh Bhavan, a centre to further cultural cooperation between India and Bangladesh. Hasina said, “There are 11 lakh Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. We have given them shelter due to humanitarian consideration, we want them to go back to their land. We cannot help offering shelter to oppressed people. We appeal to all to keep up pressure on the government of Myanmar to take them back.” She further said, “When the question of giving them shelter in Bangladesh was raised, I said if we could feed 16 crore people. We could also offer food to a few lakhs. If need be, we would share our food.” The Bangladesh Prime Minister became emotional while delivering the speech.

Till August last year, over 700,000 Rohingyas fled a brutal military campaign in Myanmar's Rakhine state and are currently languishing in Bangladeshi refugee camps. Both New Delhi and Dhaka have different opinions on accommodating Rohingya’s. Even the West Bengal government is in favour of providing accommodation to the Rohingya community. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee expressed support for them last year.

The Modi government wants to send back all Rohingya refugees which are staying in the country. The Rohingyas are considered as the most oppressed ethnic minority in the world. Several dozens of Rohingya families are provided with shelter in different villages of the South 24 Parganas district by NGOs. Local Trinamool Congress leaders supported these NGO’s to accommodate Rohingyas.

The Bangladesh Prime Minister also hinted at the issue of sharing Teesta waters with India but refrained herself from directly raising the issue at the inauguration ceremony. She said, “Neighbours do have problems, but we can resolve them through discussions. I don’t want to bring it up and spoil this excellent programme.”

The two Prime Ministers were supposed to hold a meeting after the inauguration function of Bangladesh Bhavan. In his speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his happiness over strong relations with Bangladesh. He said that the relations between India and Bangladesh had entered a golden phase.

Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Hasina inaugurated the Bangladesh Bhavan earlier on Friday. It symbolically highlighted the warm bilateral cultural ties between the two nations. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was also present at the inauguration of Bangladesh Bhavan inside the Vishwa Bharti University complex.

Teesta