Muhith skeptical about Rohingya repatriation


Staff Reporter:

Finance Minister AMA Muhith has expressed his doubt about the Rohingya repatriation, saying the Myanmar government does not live up to its commitment.

“I’ve a lot of doubt about the Rohingya repatriation by the Myanmar government as they don’t keep their commitment,” he told reporters after a meeting with a delegation of British donor agency DFID at his office on Tuesday.

Muhith said the DFID delegation discussed the issues mainly related to the Rohingya repatriation.

The delegation members praised the Bangladesh Prime Minister’s steps over the Rohingya issue, he said.

The Finance Minister said the delegation will visit Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar. “Although they wanted to visit Myanmar as well, the authorities denied them entry to Rakkhine state,” he said.

He said the government has taken a move to rehabilitate the Rohingyas in Bhasan Char, an island in Noakhali. “Those who entered Bangladesh before the recent exodus of Rohingyas will get shelter in Bhasan Char Island and their number might be about 300,000. We can’t take care of one million Rohingyas.”

Muhith said an allocation will be made in the upcoming budget for this purpose as a proposal was sent to his ministry from the Prime Minister’s Office. “But I can’t say about the specific figure of the allocation at this stage of budget preparation.”

He said the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry will implement the Bhasan Char project for Rohingyas. Bangladeshi locals will also remain there as its habitants alongside the displaced Myanmar nationals.

Mentioning that the entire world except China and Russia is supporting Bangladesh over the Rohingya issue, the Finance Minister said the crisis might not be resolved soon as Myanmar is a not implementing the agreement signed with Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, a delegation of Hindu community leaders along with Religious Affairs Minister Principal Matior Rahman met the Finance Minister at his office.

About the outcome of the meeting with the Hindu delegation, Muhith said at the request of the delegation, he will make an allocation of Tk 100 crore in the next budget for the welfare of the Hindu community.

But the money will be spent on different welfare projects following the government’s approval, he said, adding that the amount will be added to a previous allocation of Tk 100 crore under the Hindu Welfare Trust formed by the government.unb


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