Bangladesh is at risk of falling into a vicious cycle unless the Rohingya crisis is resolved by ensuring sustainable repatriation of the people of the displaced community to their homeland in Rakhine of Myanmar, experts said at a discussion on Tuesday in Dhaka.
Prolonged Rohingya crisis will have a ‘littering’ of the region since the presence of entities like Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army would create security threats to the entire region, observed prime minister’s security affairs adviser Tarique Ahmed Siddique.
You never know who is going to reap what kind of benefit, he added, arguing that, ‘Once it falls into a vicious cycle it would be difficult to manage.’
Government and non-government experts at the discussion voiced their concerns over security issues. ‘We have been at risk of getting into a vicious cycle unless Rohingya issues are resolved,’ they said.
Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies organised the discussion at its premises.
Tarique Ahmed Siddique suggested that the BIMSTEC member countries should rise above their egoistic stances to help resolve the common threats including terrorism and spread of drugs.
Acting foreign secretary Kamrul Ahsan said strengthening cooperation among the BIMSTEC member countries a must to resolve the crisis in the region for the benefit of the people.
BIMSTEC secretary general M Shahidul Islam said restoring historical connectivity to promote trade and investment, tourism, cultural exchanges is essential if we were to contribute to the sustainable development of the region.
More than 7,00,000 Rohingyas, mostly women, children and aged people, entered Bangladesh after fleeing unbridled murder, arson and rape during ‘security operations’ by Myanmar military in Rakhine, what the United Nations denounced as ethnic cleansing and genocide, beginning from August 25, 2017.
The last incident of Rohingya influx took the number of undocumented Myanmar nationals and registered refugees in Bangladesh to about 11,16,000, according to estimates by UN agencies and Bangladesh foreign ministry.
The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a seven-member regional organistion of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand.
BIISS director general Major General AKM Abdur Rahman also spoke at the inaugural session of the two-day discussion.