TV Talk Show Transcription: TV Talk Show

Bangladesh Talk Show Discusses Updates of Refugees, Solution To Rohingya Crisis.
Summary of 'Muktobak' Talk Show Telecast by Channel 24 on 10 October 2017.

Program: Muktobak
Duration: 45 Minutes
Title: Rohingya Crisis
Anchor: Rahul Raha
Retired Brigadier General M Sakhawat Hossain, Security Analyst
Munshi Foyez Ahmed, Former Ambassador and Chairman, Bangladesh Institute of Strategic Studies (BISS)
Sayed Badrul Ahsan, Editor, The Asian Age
Anchor Rahul Raha began the show by asking Munshi Foyez Ahmed regarding their roundtable meeting on Rohingya crisis which had ended recently.
Ahmed replied, "In the meeting we tried to join the pieces of information by sharing our findings to portray an overall picture of Rohingya crisis. I think we have achieved it. I think the government has taken a wise and rational decision. If we disconnect the bilateral relation with Burma, then there is no way to move forward and solve this issue. We cannot push in these people, instead we have bilateral and multilateral engagement to solve this issue. Raha replied, "But two countries still continue bilateral relation even after war sometimes."
Ahmed, "Yes that is what I am saying. We should not support anything that suggests cutting off bilateral ties."
M Shakhawat Hossain said, "Rohingyas are not involved in any war in Rakhine state. They are not demanding a separate independent Rakhine state. All they want is to settle down in Rakhine state again with assurance of safety and security. So we have no choice but try to send them back. There are three types of Burmese people among which Rohingyas are not a part of."
Hossain continued, "The world has been divided into two parts regarding Rohingya issue. The first part has huge military, geographical, and economical interest inside Burma. Another part is the anti party of that the first interest group. The anti group includes the UN, US, EU, and other western countries. And the interest group is China, Russia. India is trying to balance between these groups. So there is a clear strategic battle going on here. So the anti-party is supporting us, not because of Muslims are dying but to oppose the interest group. I believe we should hold onto this support. This is the biggest challenge. We have to keep this momentum. I believe, the crisis is not going to end by next month or next year. It is a long term process."
Sayed Badrul Ahsan said, "What do we call the Rohingyas- Refugees or Displaces people? There are displaced people inside Burma and Bangladesh. That is why we much call them refugees. Both Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Bangladesh said that Bangladesh will not take any suicidal attempt like war. Some people talk very illogically. They refer to our liberation war that 10 million people went to India during the liberation war of Bangladesh. But these two situations are not similar. We had a country where liberation war was going on. But Rohingyas do not even have a country. So this is completely a different problem. Besides, we could not send the Biharis [Pakistani refugees] to Pakistan after our liberation war. So ultimately, we are taking the burden of Biharis and Rohingyas."
Ahmed said, "It is not like that India, Russia, and China are not with us at all. Both India and China sent relief for Bangladesh. In recent meeting of the UN Security Council, they did not utter anything against the unanimous condemnation statement on Rohingya issue."
Raha said, "Recently, former ambassador of India in Bangladesh, Pinak Ranjan Chaterjee gave a statement on Rohingya issue which reflected the conflict of China and India."
Ahmed replied, "I will not actually term it as a China-India conflict. Both China and India have their own strategy to look at their relations with Burma and Bangladesh, which obviously may differ. China usually do not utter too many things publicly, but they work inside. Both of them have different way of dealing things. So if we are not satisfied with their effort, we have to continue our diplomatic and bilateral report."
Raha asked, "Burmese State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi’s party National League of Democracy [NLD] held a prayer ceremony for the recovery of Rohingya people. How do you look at it?"
Hossian said, "It is just an eye-wash. They are just diverting attention. This NLD has influence the Burmese army against Rohingyas. NLD has a youth organization in Rhakhine state. They had done this and created all these mess. I do not think our home ministry should involve in this. Foreign ministry should alone handle this matter."
Ahmed said, "The Burmese army actually conducting all the wrong deeds hiding behind NLD. When we offered them for joint operation, they did not accept it. But since we offered this cooperation, I think we have established our position very well. Yes we know that Burma will never accept any proposal like that, but it made our position transparent and strong."
Reception: Good