Dhaka: Bangladesh has asked Myanmar to immediately repatriate thousands of Rohingya refugees, who sought refuge in this country following violence in the Buddhist dominated Rakhine state of the neighbouring nation.
Reaffirming its stance on the Muslim Rohingya refugees, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday told Myanmar`s new envoy to Dhaka to take the refugees back.
"Rohingya (refugees) are your citizens and it is your concern to take them back in Myanmar from Bangladesh," a Foreign Ministry spokesman quoted her as telling Myanmar Ambassador Myo Myint Than.
Boatloads of Rohingyas are coming to Bangladesh shoreline every day since the sectarian violence erupted in Myanmar two months ago. They land in Bangladesh only to be pushed back to home by Bangladeshi border guards.
Considered to be some of the world`s most persecuted minorities, the fate of Rohingyas in Myanmar appeared uncertain further amid reports that they were being systematically evicted from their homes to set up "model villages" for Buddhists population.
Myanmar authorities earlier agreed to take back its nationals under a UNHCR brokered agreement in mid-1992. But the repatriation process remained stalled for years reportedly for reluctance on the part of Myanmar.
The UN estimates that 800,000 Rohingya live in Myanmar today.
Thousands attempt to flee every year to Bangladesh, Malaysia and elsewhere in the region to escape a life of abuse that rights groups say includes forced labour, violence against women and restrictions on movement, marriage and reproduction.