CPA conference to focus on Rohingya issue Tuesday

06 Nov 2017, 20:48

Rohingya refugees sit as they wait to receive humanitarian aid at Balu Khali refugee camp, near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh November 6, 2017. Photo: Reuters

Dhaka: Commonwealth parliamentarians will discuss the Rohingya issue at the general assembly of the 63rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) here on Tuesday, reports the UNB.

Deputy Speaker Fazle Rabbi Mia, also the Head of Bangladesh Parliamentary delegation participating in the annual conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), said this on Monday.

The main round of the conference will end with the Dhaka Declaration on Tuesday. Though the eight-day conference is scheduled to end on Wednesday, there is no programme scheduled for the day except optional tour and departure of delegates.

At the general assembly, the CPA will get its new chairperson as the three-year tenure of incumbent chairperson Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury comes to an end. The CPA is going to get its second woman chairperson as three women are running for the post this time.

A draft resolution on Rohingya issue has already prepared to place it at the general assembly. If the commonwealth MPs finally accept it, the proposal will be incorporated in the Dhaka Declaration.

‘Though the Rohingya issue has not been listed in the agenda, it will be discussed at the general assembly. The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association can no way ignore the sentiment of the whole delegates,’ Fazle Rabbi said.

While talking to UNB, delegates from different countries said every government should exert pressure on Myanmar to stop the persecution of Rohingya and take them back from Bangladesh.

‘A political solution is needed to the Rohingya crisis. Every government should exert pressure on Myanmar to solve the problem,’ British MP George Foulkes said.

Terming the persecution of Rohingya ‘genocide’, he said the Commonwealth countries will play a role in the United Nations and other international forums to mount pressure on Myanmar over the Rohingya issue.

The UK Labour MP praised Bangladesh for providing shelter to Rohingyas fled persecution at Rakhine. ‘Bangladesh is sympathised with Rohingyas. Bangladesh is very much generous.’

Canadian MP Alexandra Mendes said her country is very much concerned over the Rohingya issue. ‘We must place the issue during the general assembly. A decision should be taken to create pressure on Myanmar to end the crisis,’ she said, adding that diplomatic efforts should be there to ensure safe accommodation for the Rohingyas.

Cameroon’s minority chief whip Banadzem Joseph Lukong said a safe zone should be created for Rohingyas to end the crisis permanently.

He also stressed the need for implementation of the Kofi Annan Commission’s recommendations in this regard.