B’desh silent on Cana­dian of­fer to take back Ro­hingya

DNA (Delhi) - - WORLD -

Phnom Penh: Bangladesh did not ac­cept an of­fer by Canada to take in Ro­hingya refugees, in­clud­ing women who were raped, Cana­dian of­fi­cials said, as the South Asian coun­try pushes ahead with con­tro­ver­sial plans to repa­tri­ate the dis­placed to neigh­bour­ing Myan­mar.

Sev­eral re­quests for com­ment were made to gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials in Bangladesh. A for­eign af­fairs min­istry spokesman and the Refugee Re­lief and Repa­tri­a­tion Com­mis­sioner de­clined to com­ment.

Canada of­fered to take in a lim­ited num­ber of vul­ner­a­ble refugees, in­clud­ing vic­tims of sex­ual vi­o­lence, in May when For­eign Min­is­ter Chrys­tia Free­land vis­ited Bangladesh, ac­cord­ing to Cana­dian of­fi­cials, adding that the pro­posal still stands.

“Free­land said Canada was will­ing to dis­cuss cases with Bangladesh,” a Cana­dian of­fi­cial in­volved in the re­sponse to the Ro­hingya cri­sis told.

“(Bangladesh Prime Min­is­ter) Sheikh Hasina said of­fi­cials would look into it,” he said, adding that dis­cus­sions be­tween the two gov­ern­ment were on­go­ing, fa­cil­i­tated by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).

The UN hu­man rights in­ves­ti­ga­tor on Myan­mar urged Bangladesh on Tues­day to drop plans to start repa­tri­at­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of Ro­hingya refugees to Rakhine state this month.

Ro­hingya refugees

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