'We are trying to repatriate the Rohingyas': Bangladesh minister

He says there are no plans to build fire-proof shelters in the refugee camp


A VAST MAJORITY of the Rohingyas were forcibly displaced from Myanmar. The Rohingya population in Bangladesh has now grown to more than 12 lakh, of which 31,000 have been relocated to Bhasan Char (an island in the Bay of Bengal). The rest are settled in camps in Ukhiya and Kutupalong in Cox’s Bazar. They are being managed with the help of the army and the police. There is fencing around the camps and a watch tower.

Humanitarian aid is flowing from UN agencies, NGOs and the International Organization for Migration. There are schools in the camp, the Rohingyan youth are being given technical training. The children are educated using Myanmarese curriculum because that is what will help them once they go back. The government is trying to repatriate them. More bilateral talks will be held. Yes, fire hazard exists, but there is no plan to construct shelters with more durable material as the idea is to repatriate the Rohingyas.

As told to Sumitra Nair