BNP standing committee has termed suicidal the process of relocating Rohingyas to Bhashan Char, and demanded the government halt it immediately.
In a press statement, signed by party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Sunday said their party standing committee is also deeply worried over the government’s such a move as they think it may weaken the repatriation process of Myanmar’s displaced and persecuted citizens.
The BNP standing committee members had a virtual meeting on Saturday evening.
“Our meeting thinks the decision of relocating Rohingyas and its implementation in the face of objection by the United Nations and other international organisations is a suicidal process. As a result, the meeting felt that the demand for the return of Rohingya refugees with dignity and security (to Myanmar) would be weakened,” Fakhrul said.
He said their standing committee also thinks that this relocation process will help serve Myanmar’s interests and this problem will jeopardise Bangladesh’s sovereignty. “Besides, it’ll have a lasting negative impact on Bangladesh’s environment, economy and politics.”
Referring to the concerns of the United Nations, the European Union and other international organisations, the BNP standing committee called upon the government to immediately stop the relocation process for the sake of repartition of the Rohingyas to Myanmar.
It also urged the government to intensify the diplomatic efforts to mount international pressure on Myanmar to take back its citizens.
Fakhrul said the current Awami League-led government has failed to prove their sincerity and goodwill towards the repartition of Rohingyas. “They’ve failed to internationalise the issue effectively despite having a long time.”
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 out of total 1.1 million ones to Bhashan Char.
Accordingly, in the first phase, more than 1600 Rohingyas, who expressed their willingness voluntarily for relocation, were shifted to Bhashan Char on Friday.
On January 16, 2018, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a document on “Physical Arrangement”, which was supposed to facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland.
But the repatriation attempts failed twice in November 2018 and August 2019 amid Rohingyas’ lack of trust in Myanmar government.
Fakhrul said their standing committee meeting also voiced concern over imposing a restriction by Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) on holding public meetings and rallies without prior notice.
It demanded the DMP withdraw the restriction immediately in this Victory Month.
Apart from Fakhrul, BNP standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, Jamir Uddin Sircar, Mirza Abbas, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, Selima Rahman and Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku joined the virtual meeting held with its acting chairman Tarique Rahman in the chair.