GCC Secretary-General Meets with Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh at Davos Forum    Saudi physics team wins 3 global awards in 2022 European Olympiad    SDRPY launches project to rehabilitate Haijat Al-Abed road    KSrelief Conducts 300 Surgeries as Part of Voluntary Medical Project to Combat Blindness in Al-Mukalla    SAMA governor, CMA chairman thank Saudi leadership for approving FinTech strategy    NDMC Closes the May 2022 Issuance under Saudi Arabian Government SAR-denominated Sukuk Program    Crown Prince discusses relations with members of US Congress    SFDA warns against Jif peanut butter products    KSrelief Participates in High-Level Regional Meeting on Youth    Women's green futsal team wins bronze in Gulf Games    Saudi Stock Exchange Main Index Ends Trading Higher at 12,300.86 Points    Cabinet to continue implementing initiatives and reforms to achieve Vision 2030 objectives    DCO, WEF launch initiative to boost global digital FDI flows    Uganda Supports Saudi Arabia's Bid to Host World Expo 2030    Aramco can't expand output capacity any faster, says CEO Amin Nasser warns of oil crunch    Consensus needed over digital technology for 'people and the planet'    International community urged to support new administration in Somalia    Global jobs market recovery 'has gone into reverse', warns UN labor agency    Saudi Press: Saudi Arabia Exerts Exceptional Efforts to Achieve Security and Stability in Yemen    Appeals court affirms termination of Wafa Insurance's financial restructuring    Saudi Vice Minister of Defense Visits CENTCOM Headquarters    In a Report to SPA .. SDAIA: Autonomous Vehicles Will Be Commercially Available in World by 2030, Will Account for 50% of Sales after 2045    Manchester City clinches Premier League title on dramatic final day    How Syrian singer Rasha Rizk dazzled millennials at Jeddah Season?    King Salman Park begins construction on its Royal Arts Complex    Shoura members propose equal blood money for men and women, Muslim and non-Muslim    KSrelief's Masam Project Dismantles 1,339 Mines within a Week in Yemen    British Investors Express Interest in Investing in Saudi Arabia's Food, Drug Market    7 Die in Philippine Ferry Fire; over 120 Rescued from Water    Ithra Participates in Cannes Film Festival with New Films to Support Saudi Talents    Exclusive launching of Michael Schumacher Digital Experience at Jeddah F1 Grand Prix    MoH allows 6 categories to receive second booster dose    Mbappé signs new 3-year PSG deal after rejecting Real Madrid    Saudi Aramco: London Championship to Witness Participation of World's Best Female Golfers    Saudi woman finds out she is male after 20 years    Saudi Arabia Heads to Cannes International Film Festival to Promote Country's Flourishing Industry and Support Emerging Talent on World Stage    President of SAFF Participates in AFC General Assembly Meeting    Saudi Athletes Achieve Great Victories in the 2nd Day of the GCC Games Tournament in Kuwait    Jazan Hosts West Asian Beach Soccer Championship    Bollywood actor's tweet reignited debate over Hindi as India's national language    SFDA Advises to Wash Dates Well Before Eating    SFDA Advises Against Mixing Surplus of Iftar and Suhoor with Different Foods or Surplus from Other Days    Ministry calls on imams to avoid long supplications in Tahajjud Prayer    Nothing wrong with a Muslim celebrating birthdays, says Saudi scholar    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques addresses citizens and all Muslims on the occasion of the Holy month of Ramadan    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



No place called home for Myanmar refugees
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 19 - 03 - 2010

Dildar Begum has no country, no job, no food and is fast running out of hope.
Her husband is imprisoned in a Bangladeshi jail while she lives in a slum with her five children, reduced to begging for rice from her impoverished neighbors. Her family is starving, she said.
“I can't live this way. It's better if my kids and I die suddenly,” the 25-year-old woman said.
Begum is one of the hundreds of thousands of members of the Rohingya ethnic group who have fled to Bangladesh to escape persecution in neighboring Myanmar, only to find themselves languishing in filthy slums or open-air camps where food and water are scarce and medical care nonexistent.
As Muslims, they were unwanted in Buddhist Myanmar. As foreigners, they are unwanted in Muslim Bangladesh. In recent months, Bangladesh has cracked down on the group, arresting and repatriating many and stepping up security along the porous border to prevent more from arriving. At the same time, the government discouraged aid groups from giving most of those here food, fearing it would attract a huge new influx of refugees, a government official said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
International rights groups have decried their fate and Bangladesh's refusal to grant the vast majority of them refugee status, which would give them access to nearby camps where they could receive a full aid package of food, shelter and education provided by international agencies.
Without that aid, the Rohingya face widespread starvation, activists said.
“A grave humanitarian crisis is looming,” Chris Lewa of the Rohingya advocacy group The Arakan Project said last month.
Bangladesh has also been accused of carrying out arbitrary arrests of the Rohingya and forcing many back into Myanmar. In Kutupalong, 185 miles (296 kilometers) south of the capital, Dhaka, the undocumented Rohingya live in a squalid shantytown, where malnourished, barefoot children defecate outside. With no right to work, many survive by bribing forestry officials to turn the other way as they illegally cut down trees to sell as firewood, men in the village said. “The forest is being destroyed by them,” said A.F.M. Fazle Rabbi, a government official in charge of the area.
“I am sure over next few years, you will find no trees here.” The 800,000 strong Rohingya are believed to have descended from seventh century Arab settlers whose state along what is now the Bangladesh-Myanmar border was conquered by the Burmese in 1784.
The Myanmar junta refuses to recognize them as citizens, and the group faces extortion, land confiscation, forced evictions, and restricted access to medical care and food, according to Human Rights Watch. Thousands have fled to Malaysia and Thailand, which depend on migrant labor, or braved the sea to go as far as the Middle East for work.
Last year, the Thai navy intercepted boats carrying 1,000 Rohingya, detained and beat them and then forced them back to sea in vessels with no engines and little food or water, according to reports from human rights groups.
On Friday, Malaysian authorities said they picked up 93 Rohingya who said they had been at sea for 30 days in a crowded wooden boat after apparently being chased out of Thai waters. “They said they were sailing aimlessly in the hope of finding a country that will accept them,” said Zainuddin Mohamad Suki, an officer with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency. The passengers were likely to be sent to a detention center, he said.
Most of the refugees, however, have fled on foot and by boat over the border to the nearby Cox's Bazar area in Bangladesh, where 28,000 are registered as refugees and restricted to official camps in Kutupalong and Naya Para. The Kutupalong refugee camp is well-equipped with medical facilities, a computer learning center, volleyball courts and generators.
However, at least 200,000 other Rohingya here have not been given refugee status by Bangladesh and live under constant threat of being arrested or sent back home. Some work as day laborers or rickshaw pullers at Cox's Bazar.
Authorities fear that if they grant full rights to everyone, it will encourage even more Rohingya to come to Bangladesh, which is already overwhelmed with its own impoverished and malnourished population. “We are a poor country, we cannot afford this for long,” said Gias Uddin Ahmed, the chief administrator of the district.
Begum and her family fled with about 2,500 others seven months ago amid unrelenting attacks by their Buddhist neighbors, who eventually took their land in Myanmar's northwestern Rakhine state. They left at night and bribed Bangladeshi border guards to let them enter and travel to the shantytown near the refugee camp in Kutupalong. Her husband, 35-year-old Jamir Hossain, found work as a day laborer in the shantytowns that have sprung up near the Kutupalong camp, but police arrested him last month in a roundup of undocumented Rohingya.
With no money, Begum begs for rice from nearby villages to feed her four sons and a daughter. “It's now afternoon, but I haven't been able to give any food to my kids,” she said.
M. Sakhawat Hossain, the police chief in Cox's Bazar, said Bangladeshi villagers have accused the Rohingya of a wave of robberies across the coastal region and pressured the government to take action.
In the ensuing crackdown, 136 undocumented Rohingya were in custody on charges of illegally entering Bangladesh or engaging in criminal activities, he said.
“What we did is for maintaining law and order over reported crimes,” he said. “Should not we do that?”


Clic here to read the story from its source.