Keep up pressure on Myanmar to implement Kofi Annan Commission report: PM

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DHAKA, Feb 2, 2018 (BSS) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called upon the international community including the United Nations (UN) to keep up pressure on the Myanmar government to implement Kofi Annan Commission report on the Rohingya Issue.

The prime minister made the call when visiting UN Under Secretary General and Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka paid a courtesy call on her at her Jatiya Sangsad Office here yesterday evening.

After the meeting, PM’s Additional Press Secretary Nazrul Islam briefed the reporters.

He said the premier narrated the plight of the forcibly displaced Myanmar people, particularly women and children.

She said Bangladesh has given shelter to a huge number of Rohingyas on humanitarian grounds. “But the presence of a huge number of Rohingya people is creating suffering for the local people at Cox’s Bazar,” she said.

She added that their presence is also creating pressure on food as the cultivable lands of the local people have been given for setting up camps.

Sheikh Hasina feared that the refugees could easily be motivated to terrorism and defended that her government has taken steps to shift them to an island in Noakhali to isolate them considering the security aspect.

“Primarily, nearly one lakh of the forcibly evicted Myanmar citizens would be shifted there and the work is progressing to this end,” she said.

The displaced Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh territory since Aug 25, following an army crackdown in Buddhist-majority Myanmar’s northwestern Rakhine State.

While talking about the issue of women empowerment, the premier said the leader of the House, the deputy leader, the Speaker and the leader of the opposition in parliament all are now women which is an example in the world.

Besides, her government also introduced direct election for females in every tire of the local government bodies including the union council, she added.

About education sector, Sheikh Hasina said 60 percent quota for the female candidates is maintained in recruitment of primary teachers.

“Various measures like distribution of free textbooks and providing stipends have played a significant role in achieving more enrolment of girl students than boys in the schools,” she said.

The prime minister further said that employment opportunities have also been created for female youths at the digital centres across the country ensuring their financial empowerment.

Besides, the government established community clinics across the country to ensure desired healthcare, particularly for the rural women, while special care has also been taken for the autistic children, she said.

During the meeting, the UN Under Secretary said she would place a report on her visit to the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar to the concerned committee of the UN Security Council.

Ms Mlambo-Ngcuka said she was really impressed to see the measures on women empowerment implemented under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

PM’s Principal Secretary Nojibur Rahman and PMO Acting Secretary Sajjadul Hassan were present.

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