The Financial Express

Rohingya refugees want to return to Myanmar, say envoys 

| Updated: April 04, 2021 13:30:05

Rohingya refugees want to return to Myanmar, say envoys 

The Rohingya refugees, now living in Bhasan Char, on Saturday interacted with the foreign diplomats and expressed their willingness to return to their homeland in Myanmar.

They conveyed their "high satisfaction" over the existing facilities in Bhasan Char, which they considered safe, secured crime-free compared to the congested camps in Cox's Bazar.

The Rohingya community profusely thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the government for the exemplary humanitarian support that have been extended to them since the mass exodus.

"I want my children to grow with their own national identity in their own country," a Rohingya representative was quoted as conveying to the diplomats who visited Bhasan Char on Saturday.

Some Rohingya underscored the need to expand learning facilities for children and provide them opportunities for farming and fishing which would help in keeping them active.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised the day-long trip to Bhasan Char for the Heads of Missions of 10 Embassies/delegation - Turkey, EU, USA, UK, France, Germany, Japan, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands.

Foreign Secretary (Senior Secretary) Masud Bin Momen, Disaster Management and Relief Secretary Md. Mohsin, Secretary Maritime Affairs Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rear Admiral (Retd.) Md. Khurshed Alam, RRRC Shah Rezwan Hayat and other senior officials of the Government accompanied the team.

The visit was organised as the part of the Government's engagement with the International Community including the United Nations on the relocation of Rohingya from Cox's Bazar to Bhashan Char.

The objective of the visit was to provide the Ambassadors with an opportunity to witness the massive development and humanitarian projects undertaken by the Government of Bangladesh at Bhashan Char.

During the tour, the group had the chance to visit different infrastructures including embankments, buildings, shelters, other facilities and amenities available on the island.

The group visited several capacity-building projects such as sewing, handicrafts making etc, the skills that the Rohingya would be able to utilize on their return to Myanmar.

The Ambassadors freely interacted with the Rohingya representatives and shared their thoughts and hopes.

The group of Ambassadors spent some time with the Rohingya children in an informal learning centre.

This was the first-ever visit to Bhashan Char by foreign Heads of Missions.

The trip was preceded by a UN team's visit from 17-20 March 2021.

Earlier a team, led by the Assistant Secretary General of the OIC went to Bhashan Char.

The Rohingya relocation, which started from December 4 last year, is in alignment with the GOB's overall efforts towards repatriation.

So far 18,334 Rohingya refugees have been relocated to Bhasan Char, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The government has a plan to relocate, in phases, 100,000 Rohingya to Bhashan Char.

There might be a joint media release to be issued on Sunday or Monday based on what the diplomats have seen, a diplomatic source told UNB.

The diplomats returned Dhaka after 5pm.


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