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Rohingyas protest at the behest of whom?

Shining Editorial || shiningbd

Published: 20:45, 5 June 2021  
Rohingyas protest at the behest of whom?

On May 31, a 14-member delegation, including two Assistant High Commissioners of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), visited Bhasan Char. This was the first visit by UNHCR in Bhasan Char.

Everyone is aware of the government's disagreement with this international organization over the issue since the inception of Bhasan Char Asrayan Project 3. Last December, when the Rohingyas started to relocate to Bhasan Char, tensions around the island increased a bit, but in recent times the ice has started to melt.

UN General Assembly President Volkan Bozkır applauded the Bhasan Char project for Rohingya refugees, saying this is an example of humanity for the world. Earlier in February, a five-member delegation from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) visited Bhasan Char and expressed their satisfaction to the media.

Later, a UN delegation visited Bhasan Char refugee camp from 18 to 20 March and they also exchanged views with the displaced Rohingyas by inspecting the infrastructure and other facilities. In April, ambassadors and high commissioners of 10 countries posted in Bangladesh visited Bhasan Char.

John Kerry, the US president's climate envoy, who paid a surprise visit to Bangladesh, made positive statement about the Bhasan Char project.

So far, the visits of diplomats and representatives of international organizations have been completed smoothly. At the end of the visit, diplomats from different countries, including the UN delegation, made positive comments.

A recent visit of various organizations, including the United Nations, and a delegation of diplomats, while the positive response has taken the Bhasan Char project's acceptance to a unique height- At that time a pre-planned violence in front of a UNHCR delegation created an unwanted situation.

In the meantime, a question has also arisen, what is the main purpose of this violent outpouring of Rohingya discontent?

Controversy has already erupted over the number of participants in this protest. Radio Free Asia quoted local police as saying the number of protesters ranged from 500 to 600.

Some of the protesters claimed that the number of participants was around 4,000, but no such picture or video showed such a large gathering. Ironically, Al-Jazeera, a Qatar-based news media, cited police as the protesters' demands.

It is worth mentioning here that Al-Jazeera has taken a strong stand against the Bhasan Char project since last December.

Earlier, in meetings with Rohingya leaders, various international groups expressed satisfaction and gratitude for the facilities of the Bhasan Char project.

It is learned that an organized group is already working in a well-planned way to spread unrest among the Rohingyas in Bhasan Char.

The main demand of the Rohingyas during the UNHCR delegation meeting was to launch various UNHCR and UN programs in Bhasan Char as well as in Cox's Bazar. However, a section of the congregation started making violent demands. Local law enforcement also had to step up to bring the situation under control.

According to local police and intelligence, the group has already spent huge sums of money to incite subversive activities among the Rohingya.

It is learnt, a group of 306 Rohingyas who failed to flee Cox's Bazar to Malaysia were brought to Bhasan Char in May 2020. Since then, various members of the group have tried to flee from Bhasan Char and they also do the main job of annoying the Rohingyas who came to the island.

According to a Rohingya leader, many of the group, known locally as Malaysia Party, had contacts with brokers from various trafficking groups active in Cox's Bazar, Noakhali and Rakhine. Basically, the clique wants to carry out human trafficking activities without any hindrance by deteriorating law and order. This isolated group has no public support among the Rohingya.

The repatriation process will continue to be hampered as long as the attention of international organizations is limited to the Bhasan Char debate. It remains to be seen whether efforts are being made to keep the Bhasan Char issue alive with plans to destabilize the country in the long run by disrupting Rohingya repatriation.

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