By Pathik Hasan
Absolutely not is my answer in this regard. Why will Bangladesh give them shelter permanently? Why will Bangladesh integrate the Myanmar’s citizens with its own inner land.
Bangladesh has been hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char since military crackdowns in 2017 started driving the ethnic minorities out of Myanmar.
Bangladesh is an overpopulated country in terms of it’s volume. Recently, World Bank prosed Bangladesh regarding the local integration of Rohingyas into Bangladesh community. For this they promised to economic assistance. I want to say the world financial institution that the People of Bangladesh will never agree with this. Although the people of Bangladesh are very liberal and friendly, but there have some reality in this regard. The current government stabilized the country from various heinous criminal activities. But after the intrusion of Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar in 2017, Bangladesh is seeing a serious devastation in this regard. The drug dealing is increasing day by day. Many Rohingyas are involved in drug dealing, illegal human trafficking, prostitution, expansion of illegal markets. On the other hands, serous damage to resources, lands, deforestation are now common Chattogram (Chittagong) area in Bangladesh.
However, the people of Bangladesh and government reiterated directly the government position against any long-term program by the World Bank (WB) for the integration of Rohingyas into Bangladesh. It is absolutely right decision of Bangladesh Government. Rohingyas are not the citizens of Bangladesh. If Bangladesh integrates with its mainstream society, then Myanmar will be interested to push other Rohingyas IDPs in to Bangladesh. Rohingyas are son of lands in Rakhaine. Myanmar can not push them to massive exodus. Local integration opportunity can give Myanmar’s brutish regime a immunity from justice. They must be brought under trail for their atrocities committed in Rakhaine in the name of ‘Operation Clearance’ in 2017.
On the other hands, this proposal can hamper the initiatives taken by Bangladesh and it’s partners in case of Rohingya repatriation.
How long will World bank finance to operate the Rohingya camps? Ultimately, Bangladesh government has to paid the extra burden. Bangladesh is on the way to become a developed country. In that period, Rohingya crisis and covid-19 have impacted a harsh on the economy. Bangladesh government is trying to develop the standardization of the people. But government is facing challenges step by step. Although Bangladesh has given the shelter temporarily on humanitarian ground, but repatriation is much needed. It would be the better for World Bank , as they think about repatriation and pressurize the Myanmar.
The permanent settlement of the Rohingya crisis can be only Voluntary repatriation ( No forced repatriation) . To ensure that International community has to play the core role in this regard. Bangladesh is a humanitarian peace lover state in South Asia as why it gave the shelters the displaced people of Myanmar.
WB has undertaken a long-term program for 16 countries which are hosting refugees and they will provide money from a Tk2,000 ( Bangladesh Taka) crore fund. I would like to mention that financial assistance can not a permanent solution. It is temporal. But long standing eternal solution is only their voluntary repatriation. Rohingyas have rights to live in Myanmar. No one can deny it. But rigorous Myanmar deny it. Myanmar has not any kind of respect to international norms, law, rules and culture.
Rohingyas are not refugees in Bangladesh. They’re persecuted and displaced people. They took shelter here on a temporary basis. Bangladesh did not give them as refugee status according to 1951 Geneva Convention on Refugee status. Bangladesh always treat them as Displaced persecuted people of Burma. integration of Rohingyas in Bangladesh is not the solution but they will have a better future only when they are repatriated. “They should go back. That’s the only way-out.
WB is saying effective steps should be taken to identify, prevent and mitigate social tensions and risk of violence between the displaced people and host community, building good relations with them and to employ them in local works.
I would like to suggest WB to take an effective steps in favor of Repatriation. Bangladesh can never suffer the socio-cultural shock for this problem.
Bangladesh Prime Minister’s proposals in 73rd and 74th UNGA respectively Regarding Rohingya crisis is the best solution. International community, internal institutions have to do some for permanent voluntary repatriation in Myanmar. There is no alternative way.
Again I end to rewrite my first sentence that local integration is absolutely impossible.
*MD Pathik Hasan, Dhaka based NGO worker, Freelance writer.