International

Under no obligation to accept stranded refugees: B’desh

Dhaka, Feb 27 (Reuters) | Publish Date: 2/27/2021 1:31:55 PM IST

Bangladesh is under “no obligation” to shelter 81 Rohingya Muslim refugees adrift for almost two weeks on the Andaman Sea and being assisted by India, said Bangladesh foreign minister AK Abdul Momen.

India’s coast guard found the 81 survivors and eight dead crammed onto a crippled fishing boat and were trying to arrange for Bangladesh to take them, officials said on Friday.
But Momen told Reuters late on Friday that Bangladesh expects India, the closest country, or Myanmar, the Rohingyas’ country of origin, to accept them.
“They are not Bangladesh nationals and in fact, they are Myanmar nationals. They were found 1,700 km (1,100 miles) away from the Bangladesh maritime territory and therefore, we have no obligation to take them,” said Momen, who is in the United States.
“They were located 147 km (91 miles) away from Indian territory, 324 km (201 miles) away from Myanmar,” he said by phone, adding other countries and organisations should take care of the refugees.
Indian foreign ministry officials did not respond to requests for comment.
External Affairs Ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said on Thursday that India was “in discussions with the Government of Bangladesh to ensure their safe and secure repatriation.”
New Delhi did not sign the 1951 Refugee Convention, which spells out refugee rights and state responsibilities to protect them. Nor does it have a law protecting refugees, though it currently hosts more than 200,000, including some Rohingya.
More than 1 million Rohingya refugees from predominantly Buddhist Myanmar are living in teeming camps in Muslim-majority Bangladesh, including tens of thousands who fled after Myanmar’s military conducted a deadly crackdown in 2017.
Traffickers often lure Rohingya refugees with promises of work in Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia.
The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, expressed alarm this week over the missing boat.
India on Thursday said around 47 of the occupants of the boat are in possession of ID cards issued to them by the UNHCR office in Bangladesh, stating that they are displaced Myanmar nationals.
 

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

Desk:+91-3862-248 489, e-mail: npdesk@gmail.com Fax: +91-3862-248 500
Advt.:+91-3862-248 267, e-mail:npostadvt@gmail.com

QUICK LINKS

SUNDAY POST

Join us on

© Nagaland Post 2018. All Rights are Reserved
Designed by : 4C Plus