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10 September, 2017 10:47:18 AM


Crisis and conspiracy have now joined hands

This Rohingya problem has not only political but huge economic impact on Bangladesh
Abdul Gaffar Choudhury
Crisis and conspiracy have now joined hands

Bangladesh is now passing through a very critical time. Perhaps, Hasina government is facing a three-fold challenge from nature, political situation and Rohingya problem.

In my opinion conspiracy and crisis have joined hands against this government. If the government can confront this triple challenge successfully, then not only Bangladesh but its democratic structure will survive. In spite of the government’s best efforts more than a hundred people died in the current flood. The controversy over the verdict of the Supreme Court on the16th amendment and its observation almost threatened our political stability.
Now the UNO said that more than 1 lakh 25000 Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh to escape the crackdown by the Myanmar soldiers. Rohingya Muslims have been facing discrimination in the majority-Buddhist country Myanmar for a long time. There were insurgencies among Rohingyans and there were clashes between the soldiers and them. In the name of crackdown on Rohingyans the Myanmar soldiers created a killing field and forced most of them to take shelter in Bangladesh. This refugee problem became acute in Bangladesh because the country is not prepared to face this huge problem and tried to have a negotiated settlement with the Myanmar government to take them back and stop atrocities towards the Rohingyas. Rangoon government's policy was not seen as favourable towards taking back their citizens and many observers believe that their policy is to oust the Rohingyans by torture and pressure. So, the Rohingya problem had been there for some time, which has now suddenly escalated and again thousands of Rohingya's are entering Bangladesh like a tidal wave.
This Rohingya problem has not only political but huge economic impact on Bangladesh. The developing economy is not strong enough to tackle the huge refugee problem. The country is still burdened with non-Bangladeshi (Bihari) problems. After the liberation war, these Biharis who were settled in Bangladesh, declared themselves Pakistani citizens and wanted to go to Pakistan (the-then west wing). Pakistan government did not show any interest to accept them. After hard bargaining Bangladesh was successful to send some Biharis to Pakistan and others remained in Bangladesh with a hope that one day they will be able to go to Pakistan. That also created huge political and cultural problems in Bangladesh.

The integration between the Bengali and Bihari community took a long time and even then it is far from being resolved and now another problem (Rohingyas) has been added to the list. There was a hope that Burmese leader Aung San Suukyi, who was awarded the Noble prize for her suffering for her country and the humanity, would take a stand against this Rohingya killing which could be compared to a genocide. But she did not do it.

What the military of Myanmar is doing is not suppressing insurgency but ousting Rohingyans from their country with a political motive. But Aung San Suukyi is blaming misinformation for fuelling that crisis. She ignored the horrible killings of people including women and children and did not try to stop the massacre. Amensty International said, "Aung San appears to be downplaying the horrible reports coming from the area." In this situation both India and China are not very keen to stop this crime against humanity, because Myanmar is rich with oil and natural resources and strategically an important country. Both Delhi and Beijing are trying to woo the Burmese leaders in their favour. America is verbally condemning the massacre but keeping an eye on the situation to take its advantage. They are waiting for their military intervention in the area so that they can create another Iraq and Syrian situation to establish their zone of military action in the name of establishing peace and extend their influence up to Bangladesh. For a long time America tried to extend its military domination in Bangladesh and its surrounding areas but could not do it for the opposition of Hasina government.

If this policy which is included in American South-Asian policy succeeds, then all efforts of the Hasina government to keep our country out of any battle zone would be affected. The Middle-east born calamity could not reach Bangladesh because of Haisna government's resistance and geographical distance. But Myanmar is a close neighbor to Bangladesh and during the British rule it was a part of the united Bengal. America has other interests in Myanmar for strategic and other purposes. America wants to combat the expansion Chinese economic and military influence there. India is also an opponent of Chinese expansion there. So the big neighbour and western power are very eager not to disturb the rulers of Myanmar. They are verbally condemning the atrocities but in action they are not doing anything to save the humanity.

Some Muslim countries including Turkey are advising Bangladesh to open its door for the Rohingyans. They have also assured Bangladesh of some economic help. But the question is that some Middle-eastern countries during Syrian war shut their doors for those refugees. They are now advising Bangladesh otherwise for the Rohingyas. Some observers say, that some Middle-eastern countries including Saudi Arabia has secret motives, which is also responsible for creating this problem. For a long time there was Middle-eastern money to encourage a vast number of Rohingyans to start a movement to establish a small Muslim country between the Borders of Myanmar and Bangladesh.

With Middle-eastern money Jamaat-e-Islami is very active in Myanmar in the Rohingya community. Jamaat has a strong base there extended up to Cox's Bazar of Bangladesh. Jamaat is so strong in Cox's Bazar that no Awami League candidate could possibly win election there for almost 40 years. Jamaat hopes they will build a strong hold in Bangladesh through their followers in Rohingyan refugees and can disturb a secular government in Bangladesh. So the new explosion of the Rohingya problem is not unexpected. This is a situation which is favorable for both Myanmar government and Jamaat. Myanmar soldiers took advantage of the situation and in the excuse of crushing insurgency they are actually following a policy a brutality to expel Rohingyans from their homelands. On the other hand, Jamaat's encouragement of this Rohingyan exodus in Bangladesh is intended to create more acute crisis for Hasina government who are already facing two crises i.e. the flood and the verdict on the 16th amendment of Bangladesh.

A combined conspiracy is taking place in the country to destabilize the government with the help of the present three-fold crisis. I hope government is aware not only of the gravity of the crisis but the danger of this conspiracy. Hasina government should unite the democratic and secular forces of the country to combat the approaching danger for democracy and the country.

A section of ministers and leaders of Awami League are very vocal against opponents with abusive words but in action they are helping them. A big trap has been laid down for the government very cleverly. They should avoid it with all their political wisdom.

London, Thursday, 07 September 2017



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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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