Saturday, 29 February 2020

Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh: More than 1,300 boat-people have died on the way to Malaysia and hundreds have been ill-treated in overcrowded camps run by traffickers and people smugglers in Thailand, according to Ms Stina Ljungdell of UNHCR representative of Bangladesh in a statement released on June 11. 

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)estimated more than 86,000 people have left on boats since June 2012, of which more than 16,000 people in the second half of 2012, another 55,000 in 2013 and nearly 15,000 from January to April this year and nearly 730 people were reported to have died on this journey of Malaysia in the second half of 2012, that number fell to 615 for all of last year, possibly due to the use of larger, more stable cargo boats by smuggling networks, according to UNHCR the statement .

In an article of Stina Ljungdell noted that “thousands of Rohingya have continued to flee Myanmar and sought safety elsewhere. Abuse and exploitation are common along the way and many lose their lives at sea.” 

An estimated 86,000 people, mostly Rohingya, have sailed on boats since June 2012, Stina Ljungdell said according to UNHCR statement published on June 11.

According to sources at the Home Ministry of Bangladesh, the small ships used to deport the Rohingyas to the third country are anchored somewhere along the Bangladesh-Burma border and the illegal trafficking is running by a cartel comprised of people from Bangladesh and Burma.

Besides, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan has said the government is showing zero tolerance for Rohingya intrusion along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border and all the government agencies, including the law enforcers, the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) and the Coast Guard (Navy) have recently beefed up the vigilance along the border to prevent illegal intrusion of Rohingyas.

Rohingyas from Burma use Bangladesh as the transit point for going to Malaysia by sea or to India by land, according to a recent study by the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) of Dhaka University. 

Malaysia is the most important destination for Rohingyas followed by Saudi Arabia, the study said.

It costs Taka 40,000 to Taka 60,000 to reach Malaysia by boat and no documentation is required, it said.

According to Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Cox’s Bazar Ruhul Amin admitted that Rohingyas used to enter the country in groups through sea routes in the guise of fishermen and claimed that the flow of intruders –Rohingya - has come down to almost a zero level in recent times.

“The Rohingya who had entered Bangladesh territories in the past are managing to migrate to a third country using fake documents. At present, the intrusion has stopped,” said Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Cox’s Bazar Ruhul Amin

The DC also mentioned that there is no official record about most of the Rohingya refugees living in the country other than the 30,000 registered ones.

Besides, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan has said the government is showing zero tolerance for Rohingya intrusion along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.

According to different sources from Rohingya community, many Rohingya people including women and children have been leaving the Arakan State, Burma for Malaysia by risky boats since 2012 because of movement restriction, killing, persecution, marriage restriction, extortion and etc… by the concerned authorities and Rakhines (Moghs).