The Bangladeshi authorities are relocating the Rohingya people to an artificial island

In the last few days, controversial information about the actions of the Bangladeshi authorities has circulated around the world. The Bangladeshi Government has decided to resettle refugees on an artificial island.

It is about the Rohingya Muslim ethnic group, which has been expelled from Buddhist Burma because of persecution. According to the latest reports, there have been at least three boats on the sea between Bangladesh and Malaysia, carrying dozens of Rohingya refugees. One of these boats was detained by the Bangladeshi authorities and sent to the island of Bhasan Char.

Bhasan Char, also known as Char Piya, is an island in Bangladesh created by the Himalayan mud in 2006. It covers an area of 40 square kilometres. It cost the state USD 400 million to develop the island.

The authorities decided to install there electricity and water. In addition, they have built two hospitals, four clinics and mosques, shops and police stations. Nevertheless, the human rights community said that the island is not a suitable place for visitors because it offers very limited access to education and health services. The UN has stated that its workers have not been allowed to check the conditions under which refugees will live.

Compared to the plastic tents in the refugee camps, the conditions in the pouring in seem to be slightly better. That is what the people who were there say. They saw brick houses, schools and even gardens. For someone who lives in a tent without any sanitary facilities and without food, these conditions seem to be much better. However, let us think about the children who will live on this deserted island with other refugees. What kind of hope for a better life can they have. That is hard to imagine. It is obvious that this is an emergency solution. Let us hope that this will not be hindered by natural factors such as cyclones or floods, which could lead to disaster. We still hope that in a few years’ time the situation in Burma will change and the Rohingy will be able to return to their country, where they lived for 200 years.

The Bangladeshi Government justifies its action primarily by the fact that there are already around a million Rohingya refugees in the camps in Bangladesh.  In addition, this is to protect refugees from increased coronavirus infections.

Aleksandra Zakrzewska