‘India, China, US strongly with Bangladesh over Rohingya issue’

India, China and the United States are ‘strongly with Bangladesh’ over Rohingya issue and Myanmar is now ‘absolutely cornered’ amid mounting international pressure on the Southeast Asian country, says a government source.


Bangladesh, at this point, is expecting a ‘concrete steps’ through UNSC resolution to resolve the crisis as “forcibly displaced people from Myanmar” continued flooding Bangladesh as the current figure of new arrivals stand at 449,000.


“We’re working behind the scene. There’re signs.

We want to keep up the momentum (in diplomacy) but we need more time to take the momentum to the next stage to have concrete outcomes,” the highly placed source told UNB on Tuesday.


An informed source said Myanmar’s ‘line of argument’ that the Rohingya crisis is a creation of media and it is an attack on Myanmar’s democracy failed to gain any acceptability from world leaders.


“Nobody did believe their narratives (raised in various forums),” another official told UNB mentioning that there will be an open debate at the UNSC on September 28 and it will take a stronger view.


Bangladesh, however, will keep the door of dealing with the matter bilaterally open apart from pushing it in the international forums to resolve the crisis.


“There’s no contradiction in keeping the door open for bilateral discussions, absolutely not. But there’s no path but to bring in a strong resolution if problems are not solved bilaterally,” a diplomatic source said.


Amid the growing pressure on Myanmar, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi now wants to send her representative to discuss the Rohingya issue with the Bangladesh government.


Now Suu Kyi is willing to send Minister of the Office of State Counselor Kyaw Tint Swe to Bangladesh, the diplomatic source said.


The date of the visit will be finalised once both sides find a mutually convenient time, said the source adding that the visit might take place next week.


Explaining US’ position, an informed official said the US is strongly with Bangladesh and it has strong influence on the Security Council.


“We’re seeing a shift in China’s approach, too. I find it as a major policy shift. But it’s difficult to say what will be its manifestation,” a government source said adding that a Bangladesh delegation led by former Commerce Minister Faruk Khan and former Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni is in China now.


“We sincerely hope this issue will be settled as soon as possible as China is willing to play a constructive role in this regard,” said Chinese Ambassador in Dhaka Ma Mingqiang.


Some 150 tonnes of relief materials from China will reach Chittagong within a couple of days. It is expected that the relief materials will reach Chittagong on September 28, said an official.


Asked about India’s position, a government official said India is Bangladesh’s close and trusted friend. “They’re strongly with us. We’ve been reassured. There’s no ambiguity.”


The official, however, said they cannot predict anything in advance but mentioned that the government is lobbying strongly with Russia and other countries over the issue.


Another government source said it is very difficult to trust Myanmar, and Bangladesh will remain stick on its position – sending back the Rohingyas to Myanmar creating an environment for their safety in their homeland.


On creating a safe zone inside Myanmar, the source said, “It’ll be monitored by the UN. It might require a role of peacekeeping forces. We aren’t talking about the particular area…the entire Rakhine State can be a safe zone.”


“National interest comes fast. We’re continuing our efforts. If you see deeply, you’ll see the changes. You’ll see some major shifts which are encouraging,” a diplomat said adding that no countries will stigmatise his or her country by talking in favour of Myanmar or supporting Myanmar’s atrocities.


On Bangladesh’s role in the UNGA, a government official said Bangladesh and the role of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina were highly appreciated by all.


Bangladesh opened its door for over 1 million people which is a very big thing and very courageous decision by the Prime Minister, the official said sharing the global leaders’ views on Bangladesh.


“It’s a big positive branding for Bangladesh and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” another official told UNB.


Bangladesh will brief nine diplomats (UNSC members) at a state guesthouse in the city on Wednesday noon on the matter, a Foreign Ministry official told UNB.

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