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Bangladesh Government Build a New Rohingya Camp

The islet is about 30 kilometers from the mainland.

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View of the island of Bhasan Char in the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh
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The Bangladesh government wants to send about 100,000 Rohingya refugees to a muddy, uninhabited island — “formed only in the last 20 years by silt from Bangladesh’s Meghna River” — in the Bay of Bengal.

Nearly 700,000 Rohingyas have sought refuge in Bangladesh after fleeing Myanmar following a military crackdown in August 2017.

The use of Bhashan Char Island, however, is being questioned by Human Rights Watch (HRW), which is urging the country to reconsider the move, because six other “feasible relocation sites” have been identified, they say in a report.

Rohingya
Bangladesh has made some improvements to the islet, including housing for about 100,000 refugees. A look at the development of Bhasan Char, formed by silt deposits from the Meghna River, over the past 20 years. VOA

Most Rohingya are refusing to leave Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar refugee camp.

HRW, in a 68-page report, said the island is not suitable for human life and could become completely submerged in the event of a strong cyclone during a high tide.

Also Read: Rohingya Shot in Rakhine Camp By Myanmar Police Raises United Nation’s Concern

The islet is about 30 kilometers from the mainland. The New York-based organization said the lack of assurance of freedom of movement to and from Bhasan Char and its isolation “would essentially turn the island into a detention center.” (VOA)

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U.S.A: Myanmar’s Military Campaign Against Rohingya Muslims a ‘Mass Genocide’

Lawyers for the reporters said their clients were set up and have appealed their sentences and convictions.

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Rohingya
Rohingya Muslims, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, wade past a waterlogged path leading to the Jamtoli refugee camp in Ukhiya, Bangladesh. VOA

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a resolution by a vote of 394-1 Thursday, declaring Myanmar’s military campaign against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority a genocide.

A United Nations report released in August said the military carried out mass killings and gang rapes with “genocidal intent” and also definitively called for Myanmar officials to face genocide charges for the first time.

Rohingya Growing

Myanmar’s military has denied previous accusations it had committed genocide, maintaining its actions were part of an anti-terrorism campaign.

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Rohingya refugees carry a hume pipe in Balukhali refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar, in Bangladesh. VOA

The atrocities have prompted the U.N. and a number of political and human rights leaders to question the southeast Asian country’s progress toward democracy.

The Burma Task Force, a coalition of U.S. and Canadian Muslim organizations, applauded the genocide designation.

“The House of Representatives has now officially adopted the position that the ongoing policies of mass violence and displacement against the Rohingya by the Myanmar government constitute genocide, bringing the U.S. closer to the emerging international consensus on the issue.

The U.S. State Department usually makes such official designations but has not used the term genocide to describe the military’s atrocities against the Rohingya.

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Rohingya refugee children shout slogans during a protest against the repatriation process at Unchiprang refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar, in Bangladesh. VOA

The House resolution also called on the Myanmar government to release Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were jailed one year ago.

Also Read: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Under Fire For Myanmar Tweets

They were sentenced in September to seven years in prison for violating the country’s colonial-era Secrets Act. Lawyers for the reporters said their clients were set up and have appealed their sentences and convictions.

The Myanmar embassy in Washington did not immediately comment on the House vote. (VOA)