Rohingya issue can’t be solved militarily: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today sought Myanmar to resolve the issue of their minority Rohingya community using political means, saying military measures could not be the answer to the problem, as newly appointed Danish ambassador in Dhaka Mikael Hemnid Winther called on her.

"Rohingya issue is a political problem and it cannot be resolved militarily," Prime Minister's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim quoted her as telling the ambassador at her office.

Sheikh Hasina, he said, told the envoy that she understands the problems of refugees very well as she herself was in exile for long six years after brutal killing of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975.

She referred to the example of settling the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) problems in Bangladesh in 1997 through peaceful internal negotiations and laid importance on resolving the Rohingya problem in neighbouring Myanmar domestically.

"CHT agreement led to surrender of arms by the insurgents," she said.

Karim said the premier's comments came as they discussed various matters relating to mutual interests as well many global issues including the Rohingya problems in Myanmar.

Listing various development activities undertaken by her government in the CHT region, she said that the people of these hilly areas can now enjoy the mobile phone and internet facilities apart from other facilities.

The Prime Minister, however, reiterated her zero tolerance policy against terrorism.

The envoy, he said, appreciated highly Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the way she was handling the Rohingya issue.

The ambassador said his country is keen to be a partner of Bangladesh's aspired goal to be a middle income country by 2021 while Copenhagen is proud to be a development partner of Bangladesh and expected the cooperation between the two countries to continue.

The envoy said that there is good potential for cooperation between the two countries particularly in the green energy sector.

Sheikh Hasina invited the Danish entrepreneurs to invest in Bangladesh's agro processing and food processing industries saying that some 100 Special Economic Zones are being built across the country in specific areas to spur industrial growth and saving the agricultural land.

The main focus of her government is to develop the country particularly the rural areas, she said adding that the government has been continuing its relentless efforts at the grassroots level.

She assured the Danish Ambassador to extend all-out cooperation during his stay in Bangladesh.

The Danish Ambassador also thanked the Prime Minister for hosting the 9th Global Forum on Migration and Development Summit to be held in Dhaka on December 10-12.

PM's Principal Secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury was present on the occasion.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)