Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said her government is taking all necessary measures to provide food, shelter and medical care for distressed Myanmar nationals.
“We may not be that rich, but we have hearts,” she said at a meeting with Awami League leaders and allies in the US at Washington DC’s Ritz Carlton Hotel on Sunday, according to her press secretary Ihsanul Karim.
“They are human beings. We cannot throw them into the Bay of Bengal,” she said.
Hasina visited Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar and heard their stories of persecution and violence prior to travelling to the US to attend the 72nd UN General Assembly, Karim said.
The refugees will be relocated to Cox’s Bazar’s ‘Bhasan Char’ island and civil administration, the armed forces, Border Guards Bangladesh, police and Awami League activists are all working hard to alleviate their suffering, she said.
“Without waiting for any external assistance, we’ve made arrangement for accommodation, food and medicines,” Hasina said, adding that Tk 50 million had already been allocated to the effort.
The international community has been astounded at Bangladesh’s generosity to the refugees, said Karim.
“If we can feed 16 crore people, we can also feed additional five to seven lakh people in times of distress,” Hasina said.
“If necessary, we will eat one meal a day and share the other with the distressed people. After all we are all human beings and we stand for mankind.”
The prime minister also spoke of her campaign to eradicate militancy, terrorism and drug abuse. Security forces are working closely to tackle the problem and she herself has tried to motivate parents, teachers, imams and others to teach the young generation to avoid these social ills.
“People have now become conscious against terrorism, extremism and drugs.”
The government is also supporting education at a grassroots level through financial support to 13 million primary students and scholarships in higher education, Hasina said.