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Bangladesh sends small group of Rohingyas to Bhashan Char: Foreign Minister Abdul Momen

Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. A.K. Adul Momen told UNB on Sunday that the decision to send nearly 70 Rohingyas to Bhashan Char Island has been taken to keep the Rohingya camps free of Corona virus infection.

Earlier, in mid April Bangladesh Coast Guard had rescued 382 Rohingya refugees from the South Eastern coast of Bangladesh.

They were adrift in the sea for close to 2 months and more than 30 occupants of the boat had died due to starvation and disease while it tried to land in Malaysia which turned it away.

A few other large boats with Rohingya refugees are reportedly stranded in the sea. Bangladesh government has denied that these boats are under its maritime borders.

Bangladesh has said that it has sheltered more than 1 million Rohingya refugees and it can not solely be made responsible to shelter the Rohingya refugees in the region.

Government of Bangladesh has been keen to relocate the Rohingya refugees to the uninhabited Bhashan char island where arrangements for relocating 1 lakh people have been made at a cost of 2300 crore Taka.

It has built houses, cyclone shelters, a three metre high and 13-km long flood-defence embankment, food warehouses and other basic facilities on the island. 

While the government planned to relocate Rohingyas, environmentalists say that the Bhashan Char which has emerged less than two decades back, falls in an ecologically fragile area prone to floods, erosion and cyclone.

The issue of forced relocation and lack of mobility on the island has also been raised by organisations working among the Rohingyas.

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