POST TIME: 20 August, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 20 August, 2019 01:28:48 AM
3,850 Rohingyas set to be repatriated Thursday

3,850 Rohingyas set to be repatriated Thursday

With Bangladesh encouraging the Rohingyas to return home, 3,850 Rohingyas of 1,037 families are likely to be repatriated on August 22. Sources in the local administration working at the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar said they had already conveyed the message of repatriation to the Rohingya people yesterday (Monday).

It has been learnt that a total of 3,850 Rohingya people belonging to 1,037 families would be brought to separate makeshift camps, which have already been built, for interviewing the Rohingya people before their repatriation. Sources said the interview of the Rohingyas before their likely repatriation would be a formatted one.

The commissioner of the Rohingya Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC), Abul Kalam, told The Independent yesterday:  “We’ve already conveyed the message of repatriation to 80 per cent of

the Rohingya people who will be repatriated. We are trying to motivate them for their


“We will arrange a formatted interview of the Rohingya people today (Tuesday) before their repatriation,” he added.

Asked whether they had any information where these repatriated people would be taken, he said, “So far, as we have got information, the Rohingyas who will be repatriated will be taken to a centre in Myanmar and from there they will be taken to and kept in separate camps.”

In a reply to another  query as to the religion of these Rohingyas, he said, “All of them are Muslims.”

While preparations are about to begin, Bangladesh has repeatedly said that the repatriation of the Rohingya population  would be voluntary, safe and dignified.

Such criteria have to be met before the repatriation of the Rohingya people as the first attempt of repatriation on 15 November 2018 was thwarted because the Rohingyas refused to go back in Myanmar, expressing doubts about their safety and dignified return in the country.

However, the Rohingya people have now raised a new demand, saying that they would not go till they get full citizenship of Myanmar. This was voiced during a recent meeting of the Rohingya people with the Myanmarese delegation led by its Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Myint Thu, at Ukhiya in Cox’s Bazar district on

July 27.

 The delegation had come to assure the Rohingya people that a safer place has been created for them and they would be given citizenship under the Myanmar Citizenship Act, 1982, with some


But the Rohingya people were not happy with the assurance of the visiting delegation in Cox’s Bazar district.

In such a situation, a Myanmarese foreign ministry spokesperson told international media that the “repatriation of 3,540 Rohingya people would begin on August 22”.

However, Bangladesh’s foreign ministry, when asked, could not provide any exact date or when the process of the repatriation would begin.

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque on Sunday at a discussion said, “The repatriation process is always on the table. It may start any time. It is a continuous process.”

Over 1.1 million Rohingyas, who were persecuted by the Myanmar army, are currently staying in different camps at Cox’s Bazar.

Sources said the greatest challenge now is getting the nod from the Rohingyas for their voluntary repatriation.