Rohingya leaders 'satisfied' with the environment at Bhashan Char

An aerial view of Bhashan Char where Rohingyas are set to be shifted.
An aerial view of Bhashan Char where Rohingyas are set to be shifted. AFP File Photo
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A delegation of Rohingya leaders from Ukhia and Teknaf in Cox's Bazar visited Bhashan Char in Hatiya of Noakhali on Saturday. They reached Bhashan Char by a naval vessel around 4.30pm on Saturday. The purpose of the visit was to see if the accommodation there was suitable.

Arriving at Bhashan Char, some of the Rohingya leaders told Prothom Alo over phone that they were taken to the housing project in Bhashan Char by a navy ship from Chattogram at around 2:00pm Saturday. They reached Bhashan Char in about three hours. Their overnight stay and meals have been arranged at the cyclone shelter built there.

About 1.15 million Rohingyas live in 34 shelters in Ukhia and Teknaf. It has been decided to relocate around 100,000 Rohingyas to Bhashan Char
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Rohingya leaders said, there are rows and rows of well-built houses in Bhashan Char. There is electricity and a pleasant environment. They said the arrangements were better than the risky living in the Rohingya camps in Ukhia and Teknaf. They told the correspondent that they would visit different places in Bhashan Char on Sunday and Monday. They will return on Tuesday.

About 1.15 million Rohingyas live in 34 shelters in Ukhia and Teknaf. It has been decided to relocate around 100,000 Rohingyas to Bhashan Char, the island or char that has arisen in the Bay of Bengal and the estuary of the river Meghna. The army arranged for the Rohingya delegation to visit the site.

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Noakhali deputy commissioner Mohammad Khorshed Alam Khan told Prothom Alo that he had been informed by authorities that a delegation of Rohingya leaders had come to survey the situation in Bhashan Char. However, no official of the district administration would be present during the stay of the Rohingya leaders there.

Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) Mahbub Alam Talukder said the government hoped the Rohingya leaders would persuade the refugees to go to Bhashan Char. The group is not accompanied by any UN representative or media persons. However, three officials of the RRRC office are already stationed in Bhashan Char.

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