New York, 8 July 2019:
In commemoration of World Refugee Day, Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN today hosted the screening of a docu-fiction film on the forcibly displaced Rohingyas residing in the camps in Cox’s Bazar. This event, held at the United Nations headquarters, was co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Kenya to the UN and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The film titled “JonmoBhumi” or “The Birthland” is a life story of a Rohingya woman named Sophia, who was forced to flee her homeland, the Rakhine state of Myanmar, to escape atrocities. Sophia’s dilemma-whether to return to her birth-land to give birth of her child, or remain in the camps in Bangladesh, was vividly captured in the film. The persecution Rohingyas faced in Rakhine State, their conditions in the camps and Sophia’s determination and resilience are some of the film’s main take aways. The film was directed by Proshun Rahman and produced by Ashik Rahman under the banner of Bengal Multimedia.
A brief discussion on the forcibly displaced people in the world in general and Rohingyas in particular was held before the screening where the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN, Ambassador Masud Bin Momen made opening remarks. Mr. Jurg Lauber, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Switzerland; Ambassador Koki Muli Grignon, Deputy Permanent Representative of Kenya; Arjun Jain, Senior Policy Advisor of UNHCR; Ashik Rahman, Producer of the Film; & CEO RTV and Raj Hameed, Distributor of the film in USA took part in the discussion. Miss Teen International Beauty and Miss Bharat New York 2009, a Indonesian-American teenager Suzan Koch also spoke.
In his statement, Ambassador Masud spoke about the plight of Rohingyas particularly the atrocities perpetrated against women and children. The PR highlighted the generosity and humanity of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the people of Bangladesh. He also reiterated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s appeal to the international community for safe, voluntary and dignified return of the Rohingyas to their homeland. “This movie echoes Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s sentiments” the PR added.
Ambassador Lauber presented the Swiss perspective about protracted refugee crises in the world. He also spoke about Switzerland’s cooperation and aid to the Rohingya refugees.
Ambassador Grignon mentioned the Global Compact for Migration as a tool for multilateral cooperation in achieving a sustainable solution to the worldwide humanitarian crises arising from displacement. Arjun Jain spoke on the world refugee crises, and UNHCR’s role in addressing them.
Thirteen year old Suzan Koch sought the cooperation of international community to resolve the Rohingya crisis. Ashik Rahman spoke on the making of the film as well as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s role in providing humanitarian support to the Rohingyas.
Also in attendance were the Permanent Representatives and diplomats of many of the UN member states, New York-based Consuls General of several countries, United Nations staff, New York-based humanitarian and social workers, writers, film makers, television personalities, actors, models and musicians.
Member of Bangladesh Parliament Israfil Alam, and ex-MP Mahzabeen Khaled, diplomats and staff from the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh and Consulate General in New York and Consul General Sadia Faizunnesa were also present. Nonresident Bangladeshi freedom fighters, United States Awami League members and members of civil society took part in the event.