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Will Bangladesh give more rights to Rohingya?

Dibakar Biswas, Special Correspondent: Bangladesh is an independent and sovereign country of the third world that is in a large scale, beset with poverty, hunger, malnutrition, unemployment, low per capita income, illiteracy and many more problems.

But no doubt Rohingya crisis is the biggest problem in Bangladesh now. The problem is rising day by day, without any proper solution. It has played a negative role for the Bangladeshi people. What can we do now?

The Rohingya are a Muslim minority population living mainly in the state of Arakan, Myanmar. The first Muslims settlement in Arakan was seen by the 1400s CE. Between the end of World War General Ne Win’s coup in 1962, the Rohingyas advocated for a separate Rohingya nation in Arakan. When military junta took power in Yangoon however it cracked down hard on Rohingyas separatists and non political people alike.

Actually the discriminatory and repressive treatment of Myanmar government towards the Rohingyas began in 1784 an endless influx of Rohingya refugees from Arakan to different neighbouring countries. The most recent crisis has its origin in June 2012 when a bloody clash occurred between the Buddhist people of Rakhaine and the Rohingyas taking a lot of lives from both groups involved.

Then in October 2016 the crisis escalated when a small armed Rohingya military group known as the Arakan Rohingya Salvation army reportedly attacked Burmese police posts precipitating a massive response by the Burmese Army that displaced and killed thousands and was accompanied by gross violations of human rights.

When the military of Myanmar launched its mass violence campaign in late August 2017 Bangladesh was initially reluctant to open its barder to Rohingya refugees.

Bangladesh has been considered a safe haven for many Rohingya Muslims who have sought refuge to save themselves from the crackdowns launched by Myanmar’s security forces. The Buddhist majority country doesn’t recognize the minority group as citizen and limits their freedom in the country.

Teknaf and Ukhiya upazilas in Cox’s Bazar host 34 refugee camps includibg kutupalong Balukhali the largest of its kind in the world. Bangladesh has spent a fair amount of money on improving conditions for Rohingya including on the isolated island of Bhashan Char where many have been sent in recent months.

But it is a matter of great regret that, they became involved with illegal activities. Recent data on crimes in Cox’s Bazar refugee camps the largest settlements in the world, point to an escalation in criminal activities. The camps situated in remote areas of Cox’s Bazar experience crimes ranging from family feuds to robbery, kidnapping, human trafficking, and rape. Even attacks on police are quite common there while the use of arms and drugs remains the same as before. Actually Rohingyas are huge security threat to Bangladesh.

We have seltered them on humanitarian ground but such a huge population can’t be lodged for indefinite period. Under international pressure Myanmar signed an agreement with Bangladesh in January 2018 to take back the Rohingya. The first repatriation attempt on November 15, 2018 as well as the second one on August 22, 2019 failed as Myanmar did not favorable conditions for their return.

In june Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the international community to help speed up the Rohingya repatriation process again. No doubt The Rohingya refugee crisis can also be seen as a major problem in Bangladesh. Rohingya people may be a threat to the national security in future for Bangladesh. That’s why they will not get more rights From now. Otherwise we are going to face a critical problem.



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