40 Rohingya leaders visit Bhasan Char to see facilities

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Rohingya leaders from Cox's Bazar camps visited Bhasan Char on Saturday to see facilities over there as the government has planned to relocate some 100,000 Rohingyas to the island, aiming to ease the pressure on Cox's Bazar camps, reports UNB.

A total of 40 Rohingya leaders, including two women, went to Bhasan Char on Saturday morning by a Navy vessel through Chattogram.

Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) Md Mahbub Alam Talukder said the government hopes the Rohingyas will agree to go to Bhasan Char if their leaders can make other Rohingyas understand the facilities there.

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The Rohingya delegation will return to camps on Tuesday, said an official at Ramu-10 infantry division of the Bangladesh Army.

The Rohingya leaders were scheduled to go to Bhasan Char in the first week of August but they could not due to bad weather.

Bangladesh wants to start the initial transfer of Rohingyas to the Bhasan Char Island after monsoon. This "go-and-see" visit programme is part of the initiative.

Earlier, foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen said they find the place better than the cramped camps in Cox's Bazar as they expect to start initial transfer of Rohingyas there after the current monsoon.

Some 306 Rohingyas, rescued in the Bay of Bengal and sheltered in the island, are doing well, said the foreign secretary.

He said the UN teams are expected to visit Bhashan Char and prepare the UN system's assistance response.

The government may also arrange visits by human rights groups and a select group of media people to appreciate the facilities created there.

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The government has invested a lot in the island for infrastructure development to accommodate 100,000 Rohingyas over there.

There is a lack of a conducive environment in Myanmar and two repatriation attempts were failed as Rohingyas are not feeling comfortable with the environment in Rakhine.

Bangladesh urged countries to convince Myanmar to bring changes in Rakhine and implement the repatriation arrangements.

Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1million Rohingyas and most of them have entered the country since 25 August, 2017. Bangladesh and Myanmar signed the repatriation deal on 23 November, 2017.

On 16 January, 2018, Bangladesh and Myanmar inked a document on "Physical Arrangement", which was supposed to facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland.

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