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30th-Apr-2018

The authorities must stop issuing passport to Rohingyas

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EXPATRIATES Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam said Saturday that between two and 2.5 lakh Rohingyas had gone abroad until now with Bangladeshi passports. But these Rohingyas are sending money in foreign currencies to Myanmar, said Nurul Islam while inaugurating World Conference Series: 2018 at a posh hotel in capital organized by the Centre for Non Resident Bangladeshis.
The EWOE Minister said that Bangladeshis often find Rohingyas with the Bangladeshi passports working in many foreign countries. He said that these Rohingyas got Bangladeshi passports by providing 'fake citizenship documents.' He said that they collected these fake documents from local government authorities including Union Parishad Chairmen.
Bangladeshi workers were going to Malaysia through 'a syndicate formed by the Malaysian authorities.' If Malaysia stopped recruitments Bangladeshi workers would be affected. The EWOE Minister requested Bangladeshi expatriates to send their remittance through 'legal channels.'
Overseas remittances are one of the major reasons why Bangladesh's Balance of Payments don't balloon into record deficits. If it did, it would contribute towards increasing the cost of living and thus decrease the standard of living of many Bangladeshis as we import a lot of materials and fuel from abroad. This would also increase the cost of exports as our main exports depend on imported materials  and thus further contribute to our declining competitiveness in foreign markets abroad.
While we all feel sympathy for the Rohingya we must also accept the fact that our countrymen are also economically deprived and need to earn vital foreign exchange for the benefit of the country. It makes no sense for Myanmar to earn foreign currency earned by Rohingyas which they don't even want to stay in the country and whom they economically deprive every single day. We keep on saying that the solution to the problem lies with the Myanmar government. But the situation is such that we can't say when, if at all, will such a solution present itself as the current Myanmar administration is far from tractable.
Balancing the needs of the Rohingyas to earn money to support their families, while thinking of our economically deprived citizens is a juggling act; our administration should not have to do. But at the very least we can ask the local authorities to stop issuing them birth certificates to prevent them from getting passports.