House panel blames NGOs for Rohingya reluctance to return

Bangla Tribune Report
Published : 22:06, Aug 22, 2019 | Updated : 22:08, Aug 22, 2019

A banyan tree is seen at Balukhali camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, November 16, 2018. REUTERSThe non-government organisations (NGO) are responsible for the Rohingyas’ reluctance to return to their homeland, the foreign ministry informed a parliamentary committee.
The issue was discussed during the Standing Committee on Ministry of Foreign Affairs meeting on Thursday.
“Some NGOs are convincing the Rohingyas to not return until some of their conditions including that of citizenship is fulfilled,” said Muhammad Faruk Khan, who sits on the committee.
He added that they have also recommended marking the NGOs after monitoring their activities and continuing efforts to convince the Rohingyas to go back, after none of them returned to Myanmar during the scheduled repatriation on Thursday (Aug 22).
Around 300 Rohingyas have refused to go back on the first day but Myanmar has agreed to take back 3,450 so efforts to send the rest back will continue, he said.
He said that they are being allowed to live in Bangladesh on humanitarian grounds, and the panel suggested that a delegation comprising of Rohingya leaders be sent beforehand to scrutinise the internal conditions at Myanmar.
Meanwhile, a parliament secretariat statement said that the ministry has been recommended to take steps so that the committee members can travel to Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam to discuss the Rohingya issue and to continue efforts to create a ‘safe zone’ for them at Myanmar.
The parliamentary panel also recommended bringing to book those involved with human trafficking as soon as they come to Bangladesh and for the ministry to take steps so that Bangladeshi senior citizens don’t have to face harassment while applying for visas abroad.