WARNING that a wider regional problem is at hand, Bangladesh's leader said last Friday that the crisis involving Muslim Rohingya refugees from neighbouring Myanmar is ''going beyond the camps,'' where they are staying.

In Bangladesh's annual address to the U.N. General Assembly, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina appealed to the international community to ''understand the untenability of the situation'' surrounding the refugees from Myanmar, who are fleeing persecution by the military there.

''I would request the international community to understand the untenability of the situation,'' Hasina said.

''The crisis is now going beyond the camps. Despite all our efforts to contain it, the crisis is now becoming a regional threat.''

She said that health and security are becoming problems as congestion and environmental problems increase. She said Bangladesh will continue to work with Myanmar to encourage repatriation of the Rohingyas

She has proposed at the UN this week a resolution ensuring that Myanmar and the international community must ensure the safety of any Rohingya returnees. [Agencies]


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