Friday, February 23, 2018 06:45:10 AM
Sagar Biswas :
Proper refugee management appears to be a big challenge to the Bangladesh government when resettlement of around 300,000 most vulnerable Rohingya refugees, who arrived here in the last fifteen days being driven away by the Myanmar army, is the only solution for the moment.
To tackle the crisis, the Ministry of Home Affairs has formed a special cell to monitor the extent of influx of Rohingya refugees as Myanmar military unleashed a reign of terror in the Muslim dominated northwestern Rakhine state.
The Home Ministry in a circular on Sunday said the cell has been formed under the supervision of its Public Safety Division. The cell will monitor overall law and order situation in Bandarban and Cox's Bazar districts.
Besides, it will coordinate activities of different departments and organizations. The cell will collect different information about the Rohingyas, including their number, the circular added.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said on Sunday said, "The government will rehabilitate Rohingya refugees over a 2,000 acre land at Ukhiya upazila in Cox's Bazar. If necessary, we will allocate more land in the area."
Against this backdrop, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will visit Cox's Bazar on Tuesday to see for herself the condition of Rohingyas refugees. Deputy Press Secretary of the Prime Minister Asif Kabir yesterday said the PM will visit the Kutupalang camp in Ukhiya.
Meanwhile, the government has decided to conduct relief activities among the Rohingyas only from Cox's Bazar's Balukhali camp in a bid to synchronize the rehabilitation programme and stop fast spreading of refugees in different parts of the country.
Officials said construction work of a temporary shelter is going on at Balukhali where over 200,000 refugees will be given shelter and relief.
Additional District Magistrate of Cox's Bazar Kahlid Mahmud said, "We hope the Rohingyas who are staying scatteredly will go to the designated camp. At present, different organizations are distributing relief materials in different areas, which have created a chaotic situation. So, we're trying to distribute relief materials only at Balukhali camp in a systematic way."
Cox's Bazar District Administration officials said four security check posts have been set up to resist spreading of Rohingya refugees outside Cox's Bazar. Three check posts have already been started operating at Chittagong-Cox's Bazar Link Road, Mithachhari of Teknaf Road and Ukhiya Bazar.
The fourth check post at Marine Drive will be opened today [Monday]. Members of police, Ansar and other agencies are working in the check posts in a coordinated way, the officials said.
With a view to bringing a system in the relief distribution, the Cox's Bazar District Administration has urged the interested persons to deposit their money in the Sonali Bank account title: Assistance to the Myanmar Citizens Illegally Migrated [Rohingya]. Besides, the relief materials could be given to "Disaster and Relief section" of the district administration for proper distribution.
Minister for Relief and Disaster Management Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya said, "Decision has been taken to construct a camp on about 2000 acres of land under Forest Department at Balukhali area to shelter the Rohingya refugees on a temporary basis. All the Rohingyas, those arrived here since 2016, will be rehabilitated in this place."
Referring the nonstop arrival of Rohingyas, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam in a facebook status on Sunday said the total number of Rohingya refugees staying in Bangladesh is now over 700, 000. Of them, 300,000 have entered in the last fifteen days.
"The Hasina-led government is trying its best to provide humanitarian aid to the Rohingyas. At the same time, the government has also been trying to send them back to Myanmar. But it did not proceed due to unwillingness of Myanmar government," Shahriar Alam also said.
Against this backdrop, Road Transport and Bridges Minster and also General Secretary of ruling Awami League, Obaidul Quader on Sunday hoped that India would remain with Bangladesh on the burning issue of Rohingyas.
"A huge number of Rohingyas are entering Bangladesh but we will not be able to afford them stay for long in our country. Our neighbouring country India should remain with Bangladesh to resolve the crisis. India was beside Bangladesh during the War of Independence in 1971 and we hope it would remain with Bangladesh during the present crisis," Obaidul Quader said.
Echoing the same, Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu yesterday said, "The government is working to rehabilitate the Rohingyas. We are getting assistance from different foreign countries and we are distributing them among the refugees. The government is also trying to create global opinion for them."
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