Bangladeshi views on the Rohingya refugees
The UN claims that around 90,000 Rohingyas have been displaced in the last few weeks due to the violence in the Rakhine state of Burma. However, with their own staff and other international NGO staff being pulled out of the country due to the horrific levels of violence, they are unable to asecrtain the real extent of the violence.
Amidst the desperation, the Rohingya are fleeing to neighbouring Bangladesh in search of medical aid, food and shelter, but the Bangladeshi government has so far refused to let them in. Boats full of thousands of Rohingya have instead continually been pushed back to face growing persecution in Burma.
The Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said they were not willing to take in the Rohingyas, despite international calls and the UNHCR appealing to Bangladesh to let them in; “We’re already burdened with thousands of Rohingya refugees staying in Bangladesh and we don’t want anymore,” said the foreign minister.
The film by Misha Hussain shows the views of Bangladeshis on the Rohingya refugee crisis. Unsurprisingly they, unlike the government that represents them are very much willing to allow the Rohingyas into Bangladesh, understanding their plight and need for safe shelter.
Yes, Bangladesh is struggling with limited resources and space, but in this time of desperate need, the Bangladeshi government needs to act, especially when they can bring some ease and hope to an already complex situation.
It's interesting that some of the Bangladeshi's in the video draw on the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, with many fleeing as refugees to neighbouring countries seeking shelter from the violence. On humanitarian grounds alone, politics aside, the Bangladesh government often criticised, could really make some positive steps of change towards the lives of the Rohingyas.
While pressure should continue on the Burmese state to reform and recognise the Rohingyas as citizens in their own homeland, the Bangladeshi government together with international aid helping to support the Rohingyas whilst they are living in Bangladesh, is the next much needed development.