Bhashan Char stands as another example of Bangladesh’s generosity
On Thursday, groups of Rohingya refugees began to make the long-awaited journey to Bhashan Char in Noakhali in the “hope of a better life,” as a former resident of one of the camps put it.
And a better life it is: While the current situation is far from ideal, there is no denying that Bhashan Char is one of the government’s more commendable achievements and provides the Rohingya with accommodations and facilities which they would not have had access to in the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar.
Which is why so many amongst the Rohingya have voluntarily decided to shift to the new location -- the place has been thoroughly inspected by journalists and the amenities available at Bhashan Char were found to be far superior to the conditions under which the Rohingya have been living at the refugee camps.
This is, of course, not a long-term solution to the Rohingya crisis, a crisis which has seen more than a million refugees flee the oppressive Myanmar regime and its army, which found it fit to treat the Rohingya as nothing short of second-class citizens, whose houses were burned to the ground, whose loved ones were murdered in front of their very eyes.
A long-term solution to the crisis requires actions on the part of the Myanmar government -- only possible if Myanmar steps up and takes responsibility for the crimes they have committed and pro-actively creates a path for the voluntary return of the Rohingya to their homeland of Rakhine.
Until then, Bhashan Char stands as another example of Bangladesh’s generosity -- nearly Tk3,100 crore has been spent in order to provide the Rohingya with hospitals, a police station, electricity, a proper waste management system, playgrounds, and more such amenities which will go a long way towards ensuring that their time as refugees is one of comfort and dignity.
But the work towards finding a long-term solution is far from over -- it is now up to the international community to step up and provide Bangladesh the support necessary and put pressure on Myanmar to finally do the right thing.