Government Policy

Govt not taking Rohingyas to Bhasan Char forcibly: FM

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has said the government is not taking any Rohingya to Bhasan Char forcibly but they are going there voluntarily.

“We’re not taking any Rohingya to Bhasan Char forcibly. We’re taking those who’re willing to go. They’re are going to Bhasan Char voluntarily,” he told reporters.

The Foreign Minister reiterated that they will not take anybody to Bhasan Char forcibly. “We maintain this position.”

On UN’s concerns over such relocation, Dr Momen said the government will be happy if the UN shares their fears and concerns with Myanmar (for failing to create conditions in Rakhine for repatriation).

The Foreign Minister said the government does not want people to get killed in Cox’s Bazar camps due to landslides and want to give Rohingyas better facilities in Bhasan Char by easing the burden on Cox’s Bazar.

Repatriation attempts fell through twice in November 2018 and August 2019 amid Rohingyas’ lack of trust in the Myanmar government.

Bangladesh and Myanmar signed the repatriation deal on November 23, 2017.

On January 16, 2018, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a document on “Physical Arrangement”, which was supposed to facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland.

On Wednesday, the United Nations said Rohingyas must be able to make a free and informed decision about relocating to Bhasan Char based upon relevant, accurate and updated information.

“The United Nations has not been involved in preparations for this movement or the identification of refugees and has limited information on the overall relocation exercise,” said the UN, highlighting its longstanding position.

Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in cramped camps in Cox’s Bazar. Most of them came here after the Myanmar military launched a brutal offensive targeting the mainly-Muslim ethnic minority in the pretext of a ‘clearance operation’. Often described as one of the persecuted minority in the world, Rohingyas have been subjected to state-sponsored discrimination for decades in their homeland Myanmar.

The presence of a huge number of forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals put severe pressure on Bangladesh’s coastal district Cox’s Bazar and put them on a collision course with the locals. Many Rohingyas have become involved in crimes.

The government plans to shift some 100,000 Rohingyas to Bhasan Char in phases.

Bangladesh has been urging the global community to mount pressure on Myanmar for effective repatriation of the Rohingyas.

The Foreign Minister recently said Rohingyas will “jeopardise regional and international security” if the 1.1 million of them are left unattended and not given the opportunity to return to their homeland.

Source: United News of Bangladesh