EDITORIAL: Myanmar's Rohingya policy damaging Bangladesh

DHAKA (The Daily Star/ANN) - We understand that in geopolitics, every country has its own interests. However, should economic and political interests supersede human values? Can the lives of human beings be measured monetarily? These are questions that we would like to ask the international community. Meanwhile, we urge our government again to reinvigorate diplomatic efforts to end the crisis urgently. 

It is estimated by a leading think tank that Bangladesh would need Tk 7,126 crore to provide food, shelter and other support to the Rohingyas until June next year. And that is because humanitarian support provided by international organisations may not continue for long, which means that Bangladesh will have to bear the majority of the expense, and should be wary of security risks, terrorism, spread of diseases, trafficking of women and children and illegal drug trade in the south-eastern region.

Since August 25, more than 613,000 Rohingyas have entered Bangladesh fleeing persecution in Myanmar, making Bangladesh the fourth largest host country for refugees. For a country with such a large population of its own, this has been a major burden, one, which the international community is yet to fully realise, or at least that is how it seems.

Despite persecuting the Rohingyas for months, the Myanmar government still shows no remorse or willingness to stop using violence, while paying lip service to calls for peace. The international community has, meanwhile, done little more than issue statements which has not helped to stop the hostile actions of the Myanmar government towards the Rohingyas and its neighbour, Bangladesh. Our two friends China and Russia too have, to our great disappointment, opposed any strong international condemnation of the Myanmar government's belligerent actions.

We understand that in geopolitics, every country has its own interests. However, should economic and political interests supersede human values? Can the lives of human beings be measured monetarily? These are questions that we would like to ask the international community. Meanwhile, we urge our government again to reinvigorate diplomatic efforts to end the crisis urgently. 

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