Sunday, 23 September 2018
Chittagong, Bangladesh: A seminar, which brought to light the situation of unregistered Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, was held at Chittagong Press Club yesterday evening. It was organized by a local NGO, Neeti Gobeshona Kendro.

 

There were around 60 participants including two monks from Sasana Moli of Bangladesh, journalists, professors from Chittagong University and students from different universities in Chittagong.

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Master of ceremony open the seminar

The Director of Neeti Gobeshona Kendro, Mahbubul Haque delivered the key note address and released a survey report. Later, U Thawara, General Secretary of All Burma Monks' Representative Committee (ABMRC), journalists from Chittagong and some professors of Chittagong University also spoke.

 

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Participants in the event

The NGO survey report was read out on the estimated 250,000 unregistered Rohingya refugees living in the areas around Chittagong, the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Cox's Bazaar and Teknaf. But some reports said it would be around 500,000 refugees. Mostly, the NGO survey was on unregistered Rohingya refugees on the border areas of Bangladesh and Burma.

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Mahbubul Haque delivered the key note address
 

The Rohingya refugees are living in huts which are built with polythene, tin, jute stalk, dry stalk of grain and hemp. The refugees use dry leaves, branches and firewood to cook their food. About 16 percent Rohingyas have food only once a day. Among them 46 percent eat chilli paste and green leaves. It is very significant that they only eat meat only during religious festivals like (Eid-ul-Azha).

 

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The Monks delivered the speech

"The health situation of Rohingya is serious and they mostly suffer from fever, pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, cough, dysentery, asthma and jaundice. About 72.72 percent of refugees are illiterate and only 4.23 percent have studied up to Classes 6 to 10 and 23 percent have had primary education," the director said.

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From Action Aid Bangladesh
 

Rohingya refugees entered Bangladesh following extreme repression by the Burmese junta which employed them in laborious jobs without any wages, forced labour, imposed high rate of taxation, restricted  their movement and marriage, and imposed all kinds of persecution of religious,  educational, economical, political, social among others.

 

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final speech from Chairperson

Refugees wish to go back to their homeland if Burma becomes stable and equal rights are given to ethnic people.

 

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Professor from Chittagong University

All the speakers highlighted that the Rohingya refugee problem can't be solved only at Bangladesh's initiative. Bangladesh, the Burmese government and the international community should take the initiative to resolve the problem.