Uncertainty over repatriation may push Rohingya refugees towards crimes: PM

FE Team | Published: May 24, 2022 20:43:36 | Updated: May 25, 2022 08:49:18

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi paying a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganabhaban in Dhaka on Tuesday –PID Photo

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the prolonged uncertainty of repatriation may push Rohingya refugees towards criminal activities.

"They (Rohingyas) are becoming frustrated due to protracted uncertainty over their repatriation which has a potential risk as it entices many of them to get involved in criminal activities," she said.

The prime minister made the remarks when United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi paid a courtesy call on her at Ganabhaban in Dhaka on Tuesday, reports BSS.

PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed the newsmen after the meeting.

Sheikh Hasina told the UNHCR that the Bangladesh government is facilitating informal education following Myanmar's curriculum and language as well as skills development activities keeping match with what is available in the Rakhine state.

She said the environment of Ukhiya in Cox's Bazar, which has a deep forest, has been ruined due to staying over 1.1 million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals.

"They are reducing the forest by cutting trees and causing great environmental hazards in the area," she said.

She also said that 45,000 Rohingya babies are being born every year.

The prime minister said that her government has developed a temporary shelter for the Rohingyas on Bhashanchar Island with all the facilities.

"Our government has developed Bhashanchar with all amenities to temporarily shelter 100,000 Rohingya people," she said.

She also said 30,000 Rohingya refugees have so far been shifted to the temporary shelter.

Sheikh Hasina appreciated the UNHCR's role in supporting refugees and stateless and displaced persons worldwide.

Ambassador-at-Large M Ziauddin, Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Senior Secretary M Tofazzel Hossain Miah and UNHCR Bangladesh representative Johannes van der Klaauw were present.

During the meeting, Filippo Grandi agreed with Sheikh Hasina's apprehension that the prolonged stay of Rohingya people would entice many of them to get involved in criminal activities.

Referring to his visit to Myanmar, he said that he has requested the present Myanmar government to start the repatriation of Rohingya refugees.

"The present regime in Myanmar agreed to begin the reparation," he said, adding, "The UNHCR will help in the repatriation process."

Filippo Grandi also expressed his gratitude to Bangladesh's prime minister and appreciated the government for hosting such a huge number of forcibly displaced Rohingya people.

In this connection, he said, apart from the Rohingya issue, the Russia-Ukraine war and Afghanistan issue contributed to increasing refugees worldwide. 

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