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‘We’d rather drown in the Naf than move to Hatia’

  • Published at 10:17 pm February 7th, 2017
  • Last updated at 10:29 pm February 7th, 2017
‘We’d rather drown in the Naf than move to Hatia’
They think they can return to their ancestral lands in Myanmar through the cooperation of United Nations and other powerful nations. Leaders of Rohingya refugees in different camps in Cox's Bazar expressed their thoughts to the Dhaka Tribune after hearing the government's recent plan to settle them in Thengarchar, in Hatia upazila in Noakhali from Cox's Bazar.  This news was met with strong disapproval by the people in the Teknaf-Ukhia refugee camps. The recent crackdown on ethnic Rohingya Muslims in northern Rakhine state by Myanmar's military has forced 67,000 more Rohingyas to flee to Bangladesh. 4.5lakh registered and unregistered Rohingyas are already been residing in different parts of Cox's Bazar. [caption id="attachment_45258" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Cix-Rohingya-Pic--(1)Body The Rohingya refugees are desperately looking for a way to return to Myanmar Dhaka Tribune[/caption] Rohingyas want to be resettled in Myanmar's Rakhine state instead. They want to go back to their predecessor's land through international negotiations even if the Myanmar government refuses to resettle them. Rohingya representative Mohammad Yunus told the Dhaka Tribune: “We heard Thengarchar is a very risky area and that is the reason we don't want to go there.” When they were told Thengarchar was not dangerous, Yunus replied: “We will still not go there.” Mohammad asked for a UN-monitored area in the Rakhine state for their resettlement. Chairman of Kutupalong refugee camp Abu Siddique told the Dhaka Tribune: “We have been waiting for justice for a long time. We would rather drown in the Naf River than move to Thengarchar.” “We would rather be sent to another country if Myanmar refuses to allow us in. Otherwise, we are safe here in Cox's Bazar,” Siddique added. “We can never pay back the debt to this country even with our blood,” Chaiman of Teknaf's Leda camp of unregistered Rohingyas Dudu Mia said. “So we urge the government of Bangladesh to take measures to send us back to Myanmar instead of Hatia. We would be grateful to them forever,” Dudu Mia added. “Rohingyas are the main reason for all the troubles throughout the country, including Cox's Bazar. They have been associated with criminal offences such as killing, mugging, larceny and terrorism,” said President of the Rohingya Rehabilitation Committee and president of Awami League in Ukhiya upazila Hamidul Haque Chowdhury. Surprisingly enough, Cox's Bazar Deputy Commissioner Md Ali Hossain claimed he did not know anything official about the relocation of Rohingyas. A Foreign Ministry press release reads more than 4lakh Rohingyas are in Bangladesh illegally. They have been living in different registered and unregistered camps located in Kutupalong, Balukhali, Noyapara, Leda and Shamlapur in Ukhiya and Teknaf. The government has announced plans to build shelters, schools, hospitals, mosques and other establishments in Thengarchar and relocate the Rohingyas to ensure them a better life. However, hundreds of Rohingya Muslims tried to cross into Bangladesh illegally after Myanmar troops launched a crackdown in the Rakhine state in response to attacks on three border posts on October 9, 2016 that killed nine police officers. United Nations has already brought the allegation of “ethnic cleansing” against Myanmar military forces. According to the UN, more than 70,000 people have fled to Bangladesh since the beginning of the recent crackdown.