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17 June, 2019 10:07:41 AM

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Rohingyas swayed not to go back home

Intel report points finger at some foreigners
DEEPAK ACHARJEE, Dhaka
Rohingyas swayed not to go back home

Some foreigners are influencing the displaced Rohingyas not to return to their homeland Myanmar, according to a report of a top intelligence agency sent to the home ministry recently.

Hiding identity, a Briton, who has been appointed to provide humanitarian assistance under an international NGO, is trying to motivate the Rohingyas not to return to Myanmar, said the intelligence agency.

In the report, the agency said the foreign citizen had visited Rohingya camps and spoken to the Myanmarese citizens through an interpreter. The Briton informed them about various news reports on suppression of Rohingyas by the Myanmar military.

According to the report, the British passport holder is also spreading news among Rohingyas that the Myanmarese government will never accept their demands and so they (Rohingyas) have to stay in Bangladesh.

In the report, the name of another foreign citizen, a Belgium national, has surfaced. He came to Bangladesh in April 26

this year and visited Rohingya camps in Kutupalong. The foreign national held secret meetings with four Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar.

There are some other foreigners who are visiting Rohingya camps and influencing them not to go back to Myanmar.

When contacted, a senior official of the Public Security Division of the home ministry told The Independent that they asked the law enforcement and intelligence agencies to look for foreign citizens trying to influence the Rohingyas by visiting their camps.

Commissioner of Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC) Mohammad Abul Kalam told The Independent that nobody should influence the Rohingyas not to go back to their homeland.

“The law enforcement agencies should look into the matter and take action against them,” he said.

“We are ready to repatriate the Rohingyas anytime. When we visited the camps, we told them to get ready for being repatriated to Myanmar from the camps anytime,” he added.

But the RRRC commissioner said the present situation at Rakhaine state was not suitable for Rohingya repatriation. “We want safe return of the Rohingyas to their country.

And that’s why we will never force any Rohingya to go back home without their will,” he added. After failing to repatriate the Rohingyas to Myanmar in November last year, the authorities concerned, especially the RRRC, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the district administration of Cox’s Bazar, have registered 63,000 of the Myanmarese citizens.

Officials of the RRRC and the UNHCR said they were communicating with the Myanmar authorities through proper channels to repatriate the registered  Rohingyas. There are about 11 lakh Rohingyas staying in different camps of Cox’s Bazar after they started arriving in Bangladesh since August 25, 2017, after a military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

On April 13 last year, a MoU was signed by the UNHCR high commissioner and the Bangladesh foreign secretary on safe, voluntary and dignified return of Rohingyas in line with international standards. On November 23, 2017, Myanmar and Bangladesh signed an agreement titled ‘Arrangement on Return of Displaced Persons from Rakhine state’ during the Bangladesh foreign minister’s visit to Myanmar.

KK

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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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