Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Friday thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her "prudent and decisive" action to relocate Rohingyas to Bhasan Char, saying the global leadership and UN agencies have been extending lip services to the persecuted people of Myanmar, reports UNB.
"Global leadership and UN agencies have been extending lip services to the persecuted people of Myanmar and making statements again and again. No one came forward neither for their relocation nor sending them back to their country of origin - Myanmar," he told the news agency after successful relocation of the first batch of Rohingyas to Bhasan Char.
The foreign minister said the relocation of Rohingyas is taking place in phases in order to avoid deaths and accidents due to landslides and other untoward incidents in the overcrowded hilly areas of Kutupalong where drug trafficking, flesh trade and law and order situation have been deteriorating and also to provide better living for the time being.
Dr Momen said while the international agencies make noise about facilities in the Rohingya camps or Bhasan Char, no one had the courage nor sincerity to approach Myanmar to create a conducive environment leading to their repatriation to their own country in safety and security and in a dignified way for the wellbeing of Myanmar.
If these desperate people with no hope for future left alone, there is always possibility of pockets of radicalism and terrorism, and such may create an uncertainty in the region frustrating the ongoing development projects in Myanmar, said the Foreign Minister.
Over the last three years, trade and investment from European, ASEAN, China, Japan and the UK have increased manifold in Myanmar in spite of violation of human rights in Myanmar, Dr Momen observed.
He said none of the human rights organisations have started any blockade of those countries that are heavily investing in Myanmar nor asking for divestment as they did in the case of Apartheid in South Africa.
"Fact of the matter is, Rohingya problem was created by Myanmar and they are the only one who can solve it," he said.
Dr Momen said all the international organisations and important countries of the world must commit themselves to approaching Myanmar in a meaningful way to resolve this crisis -- the sooner the better.
Earlier, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a press release said the 1,600 Rohingyas who were shifted to Bhashan Char on Friday from camps in Cox's Bazar voluntarily agreed to relocate to the island.
The ministry said the government has decided to relocate 100,000 Rohingyas to Bashan Char in phases against the backdrop of growing concerns over the extreme congestion at refugee camps in Cox's Bazar and to avert any risk of death due to landslides and other unwarranted incidents.
It said the relocation has become imperative to decongest the overcrowded camps in Cox's Bazar that have temporarily been accommodating nearly a million of Rohingyas with many more thousands born each year.
The deteriorating security situation due to prolonged stay of these frustrated people in Cox's Bazar also compelled the government to come up with a contingency plan and develop Bhashan Char from its own budgetary allocation. Accordingly, the government invested more than $350 million to develop the island, it added.
The island has uninterrupted supply of electricity and water, agricultural plots, cyclone shelters, two hospitals, four community clinics, mosques, warehouses, telecommunication services, police station, recreation and learning centres, playgrounds, etc.
"The government of Bangladesh has ensured adequate supply of food along with proper sanitation and medical facilities for Rohingyas in Bhashan Char. Proper hospitals with highly qualified health professionals, adequate Covid-19 testing and treatment facilities are in place," the press release reads.
In the face of growing concerns over the extreme congestion in the camps of Cox's Bazar and to avert any risk of death due to landslides and other unwarranted incidents, the government has decided to relocate, in phases, 1,00,000 Rohingyas to Bhashan Char.