September 06 , 2017

125,000 Rohingya refugees reach Bangladesh

COX’S BAZAR: Nearly 125,000 Rohingya refugees have entered Bangladesh since a fresh upsurge of violence in Myanmar on August 25, the United Nations said on Tuesday, as fears grow of a humanitarian crisis in the overstretched camps. The UN said 123,600 had crossed the border in the past 11 days from Myanmar’s violence-wracked Rakhine state.

Their arrival has raised fears of a fresh humanitarian disaster as already crowded camps in Bangladesh -- home to around 400,000 Rohingya refugees before the latest crisis -- struggle to cope with the influx. Many are sleeping in the open air and are in dire need of food and water after walking for days to reach safety, the UN’s main coordinator in Bangladesh said in a report. "There is an urgent need for emergency shelters and for land to build these shelters on," said Vivian Tan, spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency. "These people have walked for days. Some of them haven’t eaten for days since they left. They survived on rain water and ground water."

Bangladesh initially tried to block the refugees, stepping up border patrols and pushing some back into Myanmar. But in recent days they appear to have largely given up trying to prevent an influx that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Tuesday was a "big burden" for Bangladesh.

Indonesia´s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi met Hasina in Dhaka on Tuesday to discuss the Rohingya crisis including ways to ease "the burden of the Bangladesh government". "This humanitarian crisis shall be ended. And Indonesia is ready to contribute," she told reporters.

Marsudi on Monday met Myanmar´s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi as well as army Chief General Min Aung Hlaing in Naypyidaw in a bid to pressure the government to do more to alleviate the crisis.

Turkey also offered Bangladesh government financial contribution to end this humanitarian crisis. Bangladeshi rights campaigner Nur Khan Liton said a "massive humanitarian crisis" was unfolding. "People are staying in refugee camps, on the roads, school yards and under open sky. They are clearing forest to create new settlements. There is an acute crisis of water and food," he told AFP.

The latest unrest broke out when a Rohingya militant group launched a series of coordinated ambushes on Myanmar security posts in response to what it said was a fresh crackdown. The Muslim Rohingya are seen as illegal immigrants in mainly Buddhist Myanmar and have suffered decades of persecution, according to rights groups. Unverifiable testimony from those who have fled has alleged tit-for-tat mass killings and villages being torched by the army, Buddhist mobs and Rohingya militants. -- AFP

APP from Islamabad adds: Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Tuesday said that Pakistan could send relief goods for Rohingya Muslims subject to landing rights for flights in Myanmar.

Pakistan had helped the Muslims of Rohingya in the past and it would again do the same, however, the planes carrying relief items needed landing permission, he said while talking to a private news channel.

Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) on Tuesday passed a resolution against persecution of Rohingya Muslims. The resolution was passed in a joint general house meeting wherein Secretary SCBA Aftab Ahmad Bajwa, LHCBA President Ch. Zulifqar Ali, LHCBA Secretary Amir Saeed Rawn and LHCBA Finance Secretary Muhammad Zaheer Butt were present.

The resolution demanded of the government to approach the international forums to save the lives of Rohingya Muslims.

Asim Yasin adds: Vice-President Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians Senator Sherry Rehman also condemned the current violence in Myanmar where thousands of Rohingya people have been killed and around 125,000 have been displaced.

Regretting the scale of the recent atrocities, Rehman said, “Such barbarism is unacceptable and has no place in the 21st century international order. The international community, headed by the UN, must come together to bring a stop to this brutality”.

Meanwhile the Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians on Tuesday submitted the Adjournment motion in the National Assembly Secretariat to discuss the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar in the upcoming session of the lower house of the Parliament, which has been summoned for next Monday.

The Adjournment motion was submitted by Opposition leaders in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah, Dr. Nafisa Shah, Syed Naveed Qamar, Nawab Muhammad Yousif Talpur, Ms. Shazia Atta Marri, Mir Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani, Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah, Imran Zafar Leghari, Mrs. Beelam Hasnain and Mrs. Shahida Rehmani.

Through the Adjournment motion, the PPP Parliamentarians stated that the recent atrocities on Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar have highlighted a grave humanitarian issue and United Nations has declared the Rohingya Muslims as one of the most persecuted minorities.

The legislators of the PPP stated that the PPP would urge the government of Pakistan to condemn this massive genocide of Rohingya Muslims on international forums and discuss this issue in the Parliament to develop a policy which reflects the sentiments of the nation towards the plight of Rohingyas. “This is a very serious humanitarian issue and should be discussed immediately on the floor of the House,” the adjournment motion stated.



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