Asia - Pacific

Hasina slams proposal to annex Rakhine to Bangladesh

US congressman Bradley Sherman had proposed to attach Rakhine state with Bangladesh

SM Najmus Sakib   | 08.07.2019
Hasina slams proposal to annex Rakhine to Bangladesh

DHAKA, Bangladesh 

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday criticized a proposal put forward by a U.S. congressman of annexing Rakhine state of Myanmar to Bangladesh.

“Why they want the Rakhine State to attach to us. Every state is sovereign […] the U.S. congressman showed his audacity by placing such proposal,” Hasina said in a press conference in the capital Dhaka, aired live on state-run BTV.

On June 13, U.S. Congressman Bradley Sherman placed the proposal of bringing Rakhine state of Myanmar under Bangladesh in a hearing on the State Department’s budget for South Asia.

The Bangladeshi prime minister said her country has provided shelter to Rohingya people on humanitarian ground.

“Despite the pressure of huge Myanmar nationals [Rohingya] in Cox’s Bazar of Bangladesh, we are still upholding friendly relationship with Myanmar,” she added.

Persecuted people

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.

Since then, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).

More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience."

Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.

The UN has also documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including of infants and young children -- brutal beatings and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces.

In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.

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