Rohingyas getting involved in crime due to uncertainty of repatriation: PM
Own Correspondent, Dhaka, May 25: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that Rohingyas are getting involved in criminal activities due to long standing uncertainty of repatriation.
She said the Rohingyas were frustrated by the long uncertainty over their repatriation, which posed a potential risk. Because, it is encouraging many of them to get involved in criminal activities.
Sheikh Hasina made the remarks during a courtesy call on UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi at the Prime Minister's official residence Ganobhaban. After the meeting, Press Secretary to the Prime Minister Ihsanul Karim briefed the journalists.
Sheikh Hasina told UNHCR that the Bangladesh government was providing non-formal education in Myanmar, following the curriculum and language as well as skills development activities, in line with what is available in Rakhine State. She said the environment of Ukhia in Cox's Bazar, a deep forest, has been ruined because of more than 1.1 million displaced Myanmar nationals taking refuge in Bangladesh.
The Prime Minister said, "They are cutting down trees and causing environmental catastrophe in the area." She added that 45,000 Rohingya children are being born every year.
Her government has provided temporary shelter for Rohingyas on Bahan Char Island with all facilities. She said, "Our government has set up Bahan Char with all kinds of facilities to provide temporary shelter to one lakh Rohingyas. So far, 30,000 Rohingyas have been relocated to temporary shelters."
The Prime Minister commended the role of UNHCR in assisting refugees, stateless and displaced people worldwide.
At the meeting, Filippo Grandi agreed with Sheikh Hasina's fear that the Rohingya's long stay would lead many to engage in criminal activities. Referring to his visit to Myanmar, he said he had requested the current Myanmar government to start repatriation of Rohingyas. Myanmar's current government has agreed to begin repatriation.
Filippo Grandi expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and commended the government for providing shelter to a large number of forcibly displaced Rohingyas. In addition to the Rohingya, he said, the Russia-Ukraine war and the Afghanistan issue have played a role in increasing the number of refugees worldwide.