India on Tuesday said it supports all efforts for the safe and speedy repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar, after Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina raised the matter during talks with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.
Earlier on Monday, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said India could do a lot to help her country deal with the issue of Rohingya refugees.
"India is a big country. It can do a lot," Hasina said during an informal media interaction on the sidelines of a reception hosted for her by the Bangladesh High Commission. She had been asked about the role India could play when it came to the issue of Rohingya refugees.
She is on a four-day visit to India, during which the issues of connectivity and river water-sharing are likely to take key focus. Hasina has held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also met with President Droupadi Murmu and Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar.
Ijn response, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said on Tuesday that India supports all efforts towards repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar, and noted that there’s a global appreciation of Bangladesh’s role in giving them refuge.
Addressing a special media briefing on the visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister to India, Kwatra said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina had an extensive and productive discussion on an entire range of bilateral issues related to water, trade, economic ties, and regional and global issues.
Answering queries on the Rohingya issue, he said India has sent relief material to Bangladesh for Rohingya refugees from Myanmar.
Rohingya crisis: How an enthnic cleansing unfolded in Myanmar
Hundreds of thousands of terrified Rohingya refugees began flooding onto the beaches and paddy fields of southern Bangladesh in August 2017 -- almost 60 per cent of whom were children.
They brought with them accounts of the unspeakable violence and brutality that had forced them to flee.
Those fleeing attacks and violence in the 2017 exodus joined around 300,000 people already in Bangladesh from previous waves of displacement, effectively forming the world’s largest refugee camp. Five years later, about half a million Rohingya refugee children are living in exile from their home country. Many of them have been born into this limbo.
About one million Rohingya are currently living in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. Meanwhile, more than 90,000 have fled to Thailand, more than 20,000 to India, and over 90,000 smaller groups have made their way to other countries in the area, including Indonesia and Nepal, creating a historic migration crisis.
The Rohingya rely entirely on humanitarian assistance for protection, food, water, shelter and health, and they are living in temporary shelters in highly congested camp settings.