Joy expresses strong support for Rohingya refugees, but defends Thengar Char plan

April 8, 2017

 Rohingya MAP 1

Teknaf- Sajeeb Wazed Joy, the ICT adviser to the Bangladesh PM, has expressed strong sympathy and support for the plight of Rohingya Muslims. Joy, better known as the son of the current Bangladesh PM, and widely regarded as the heir to the ruling Awami League in an article in The Diplomat wrote: “Having faced its own humanitarian and refugee situation during its war of liberation against Pakistan in 1971, Bangladesh is sensitive to people seeking protection from torture and exclusion.”

Joy also said that while Bangladesh has only become a lower middle income country in recent years, it has expended considerable resources for the welfare of Rohingya refugees.

Joy expressed strong support on behalf of the government of Bangladesh on UN proposals that include, “an abolition of discriminatory local orders against the Rohingya in Arakan State, the lifting of restrictive bureaucratic requirements for emergency medical referrals and the establishment of guidelines that will eventually eliminate all freedom-of-movement restrictions on the Rohingya.”

Joy pointed out that while previous governments in Bangladesh had successfully repatriated hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees, the continued denial of citizenship have forced the community to once again seek shelter in the neighbouring country.

Joy however defended the controversial plan to relocate the Rohingya refugees to Thengar Char, saying that it was beyond the scope of the local administration to manage the current refugee populace. Joy also pointed out that due to the vulnerability of the refugee population, it is easy for criminal networks to prey on them. He said the current situation in the Teknaf area is not sustainable in the long run.

He blasted reports that have said the Thengar Char remains submerged for a good part of the year. “The Bangladesh government will not build Rohingya settlement facilities in those areas of Thengar Char that are subject to tidal fluctuations. It is also doing its best to handle the influx of Rohingya people in the most humanitarian way,” said Joy.  

The ICT adviser ended his article with an appeal to the international community to solve the Rohingya crisis and help Bangladesh develop the Thengar Char which he had earlier pointed out would be an better option than the current settlements of the refugee population located in the Teknaf belt. During the article, Joy also said Bangladesh would upgrade aid and humanitarian support for the Rohingya community. 

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