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16 September, 2018 12:49:38 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 16 September, 2018 10:30:19 AM

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‘NGOs discouraging’ Rohingya return

HUMAYUN KABIR BHUIYAN
‘NGOs discouraging’ Rohingya return

Some local and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are allegedly discouraging Rohingyas to return to their homes as per the agreement reached between Bangladesh and Myanmar in November, last year, according to sources concerned. Officials concerned have told The Independent that such allegations were brought to their notice and that they are looking into the matter.

The sources said that there are quite a few local and international NGOs that are trying to persuade the persecuted Rohingyas not to agree to go back when they will be given the choice to return.

They said that some ‘unscrupulous people’ belonging to these NGOs have put their monetary interests ahead of the interests of hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas, who had to cross into Cox’s Bazar to escape the brutalities of the Myanmar security forces, local Buddhist mobs and people from other ethnic minorities in Rakhine.

The sources further said that the elongated presence of these persecuted people will benefit the NGOs in question financially as they will receive more funds from the donors. They also pointed out that due to lack of manpower, it is not being possible for the government to monitor the activities of all the organisations working on the ground. When contacted, refugee relief and repatriation commissioner (RRRC) Abul Kalam told this correspondent yesterday that he is aware of such allegations and that the government is looking into the matter.

“Yes, I have heard about it although I am yet to receive any specific allegations. We are trying to find out who they are. And, measures will follow if someone is found involved with this malpractice,” he said.

“During such a crisis, so many organisations work on the spot. Despite our best efforts, we cannot always keep track of the activities of all the entities that work on the ground mainly due to our limitation in respect of manpower,” said Kalam.

About the repatriation, he reiterated the government’s position that only those willing to go will be sent back and that the authorities are in the process of making physical arrangement of that. “Even if only five persons want to return voluntarily, we will facilitate their repatriation,” said the RRRC, a joint secretary under the ministry of disaster management and relief affairs.

“No one will be allowed to obstruct voluntary repatriation,” he stressed. “No, I cannot specify any date as to when the repatriation will begin,” he added. “My office has also received such allegations and we are making every effort to find those responsible,” Kamal Hossain, the deputy commissioner of Cox’s Bazar, said yesterday. “My administration will definitely act on any specific allegations,” he said.


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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.

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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