Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has once again urged the Myanmar authorities to take back its nationals who have illegally entered or migrated to Bangladesh.
“Though there are only 30,000 registered Rohingya people in Bangladesh, more than 400,000 refugees from Myanmar have taken shelter here,” Hasina told the visiting Myanmar official, according to PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim.
At a media briefing following the meeting, Karim told reporters that the PM also told Tun “it was natural for neighbouring countries to have problems. But, we can resolve that problem through bilateral discussions”.
An unofficial estimate suggests Bangladesh has been sheltering over 500,000 Rohingya refugees for a long time.
The latest flow of Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh came after the Myanmar Army launched a crackdown on the ethnic group in October last year. According to the government, more than 50,000 people from Myanmar entered Bangladesh since.
Hasina referred to the bilateral solution Bangladesh and India had reached over the refugee issue during the conflict in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).
Tun at the meeting said they were planning to start a national verification system as part of efforts to resolve the issue.
The prime minister drew Tun’s attention to the issue of drug smuggling, mainly Yaba, from Myanmar, and how it was affecting the Bangladeshi youths, said Karim.
She sought Myanmar’s help to put a stop to the drug smuggling.
The Myanmar security adviser assured Hasina of all forms of cooperation from his government.
He said their aim is to maintain peace, stability and good relations with the neighbouris.
He also talked about the issues of military-to-military contacts and sharing information on security issues between the countries.
Tun said both countries could also discuss the ‘issue of selling gas’ from Myanmar to Bangladesh.
Karim said the Myanmar official showed interest in building cyclone centres in his country like Bangladesh to fight natural calamities.