Senior officials say it will be more difficult to send the Rohingya back to Myanmar if they are granted refugee status here
The government of Bangladesh is reluctant to grant refugee status to the Rohingya people who fled Myanmar following a brutal military crackdown on August 25.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has requested Bangladesh to grant refugee status to the Rohingya on several occasions, but the government is yet to respond positively to it.
Senior officials say it will be more difficult to send the Rohingya back to Myanmar if they are granted refugee status here.
Wishing anonymity, a government official told Bangla Tribune: “On several occasions, the UNHCR requested Bangladesh to grant refugee status to Rohingya but Bangladesh has decided against the move for now.
“If Myanmar wants to take back the Rohingya then they can do so anytime, regardless of their [Rohingya] refugee status.”
The official said: “The way Rohingya were persecuted in the last four decades the chance of Myanmar taking them back is thin.”
Stating that Myanmar earlier refused to take back Rohingya living in refugee camps since 2005, he said Myanmar has not yet changed their stance regarding the Rohingya even after facing widespread criticism from the international community.
The government official also expressed concern that Cox’s Bazar region might turn into a refugee colony.
Earlier on Monday, Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya held a meeting with UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi at the secretariat to discuss the refugee crisis.
Briefing the media after the meeting, Maya said: “Rohingya who have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar are trespassers.”
At a press conference on Sunday, the UNCHER chief said: “We must grant refugee status to the Rohingya who fled from Myanmar and we must take further steps to support them.”
This article was first published on Bangla Tribune