The Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized a day-long trip today to Bhashanchar for a group of High Commissioners/Ambassadors based in Dhaka. The group comprised of the Heads of Missions and deligations of Turkey, EU, USA, UK, France, Germany, Japan, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands.
The visit was organized as the part of the Government’s engagement with the International Community including the United Nations on the relocation of Rohingyas from Cox’s Bazar to Bhashan Char in Noakhali.
The objective of the visit was to provide the Ambassadors with an opportunity to witness the massive development and humanitarian projects undertaken by the Government of Bangladesh in Bhashanchar. During the tour, the group had the chance to visit different infrastructures including embankments, buildings, shelters, other facilities and amenities available on the island. The group visited several capacity-building projects such as sewing, handicrafts making etc, the skills that the Rohingyas would be able to utilize on their return to Myanmar. The Ambassadors freely interacted with the Rohingya representatives and shared their thoughts and hopes. During the interactions, the Rohingyas profusely thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the Government of Bangladesh for the exemplary humanitarian support that have been extended to the Rohingyas since the mass exodus. At the same time, they expressed their willingness to return to their homeland in Myanmar. “I want my children to grow with their own national identity in their own country,” a Rohingya representative stated. The Rohingyas conveyed their high satisfaction over the existing facilities in Bhashanchar, which they considered safe, secured crime-free compared to the congested camps in Cox’s Bazar.
Some Rohingyas underscored the need to expand learning facilities for children and provide them opportunities for farming and fishing which would help in keeping them active. The group of Ambassadors spent some time with the Rohingya children in an informal learning center.
This was the first-ever visit to Bhashanchar by foreign Heads of Missions. The trip was preceded by a UN team’s visit from 17-20 March 2021. Earlier a team, led by the Assistant Secretary General of the OIC went to Bhashan Char.
Foreign Secretary (Senior Secretary) Masud Bin Momen, Disaster Management and Relief Secretary Md. Mohsin, Secretary Maritime Affairs Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rear Admiral (Retd.) Md. Khurshed Alam, RRRC Shah Rezwan Hayat and other senior officials of the Government accompanied the team.
It may be mentioned that Rohingya relocation, which started from 04 December 2020, is in alignment with the Government’s overall efforts towards repatriation. So far 18 thousand 334 Rohingyas have been relocated to Bhashan Char. The Government has a plan to relocate, in phases, 100 thousand Rohingyas to Bhashan Char.