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Bangladesh moves towards relocating Rohingya refugees, UN denies involvement

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Bangladesh moves towards relocating Rohingya refugees, UN denies involvement | The Thaiger
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Despite rights groups advising not to relocate Rohingya refugees anymore, Bangladesh is pressing on to move a 2nd group of refugees from Myanmar to the remote island of Bhasan Char in the Bay of Bengal this month.

The new group consists of about 1,000 refugees and is in addition to more than 1,600 refugees that were moved earlier this month, according to an unnamed official.

“They will be moved to Chittagong first and then to Bhasan Char, depending on the high tide.”

However, a deputy Bangladesh government official said they would not be sent against their will, as the relocation was voluntary. But, the UN says it has not been allowed to carry out a technical and safety assessment of Bhasan Char, an island that is prone to having floods in the Bay of Bengal. The UN further says it is not involved in the transfer of refugees to the area, a statement which is further concerning rights groups. Some refugee and humanitarian workers claim that the refugees are being coerced into relocating to the island, which only emerged from the sea a mere 20 years ago.

Bangladesh officials, however, say the move will help ease badly overcrowded camps that house more than 1 million Rohingya refugees who have fled Myanmar after being persecuted.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abdul Momen said earlier this month that the UN should first assess and verify how conducive the environment in Myanmar’s Rakhine state was for repatriating the refugees, before carrying out an assessment of Bhasan Char. However, most attempts at repatriating the Muslim minority group to their native country of Myanmar have failed as refugees continually say they are too scared to return over fears of continued violence against them.

Thailand has hosted Rohingya refugees from Myanmar in overcrowded camps with future prospect appearing bleak as the nation does not formally recognise refugees not grants them any rights.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Issan John

    Sunday, December 27, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    Genuine question as it’s not clear in this report or the original – are these Rohingya that have already fled Myanmar for Bangladesh, being relocated from somewhere in Bangladesh, as I’m guessing, or Rohingya being relocated from Myanmar?

    • Avatar

      Mike

      Sunday, December 27, 2020 at 11:26 pm

      If you read the article it becomes clear: “repatriating the Muslim minority group to their native country of Myanmar have failed as refugees continually say they are too scared”

      • Avatar

        Jon C.

        Monday, December 28, 2020 at 2:32 pm

        Trained in the art of lying by NGOs. They’re invaders, plain and simple. The exact same bio-weapon as used in countless other places. Only the Chinese have the sense to deal with them appropriately.

  2. Avatar

    John Brown

    Monday, December 28, 2020 at 12:04 am

    The former. Despite the ambiguous first sentence, the BP article goes on to describe the specific refugees as “members of a Muslim minority who have fled Myanmar” and discusses the plan as a Bangladeshi move to ease overcrowding in camps as well as an alternative to repatriation to Rakhine. Not mentioned in the article but elsewhere was that the first batch that were moved were previously camped at Cox’s Bazaar.

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Monday, December 28, 2020 at 11:03 am

    This is a conflict that will not go away.
    The Burmese want these Rohingers out, and being in the majority can force them.
    It is a pity they could not have expelled them in a more humane way.
    Where is the celebrated freedom fight during all this, Aung Sann sushe Khi.
    They gave here a Nobel Prize, yet since then she shows all the signs of not wanting to offend her masters, the Burmese Army. The least she could do is resign in protest.
    It seems she has a good income, fame, and some power, and she will not sacrifice that for what is right.

  4. Avatar

    Ameila Leary

    Monday, December 28, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    An immense refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Many refugees from Rohingya have fled to the camp. Abuse, drug trafficking and human trafficking are rising. Hundreds of refugees have been evacuated by the Bangladeshi government and, against their wishes, have been transferred to the remote, muddy little island of Bhasan Char. Bangladesh’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, has repeatedly upheld his government’s recommendations and urged the international community to accept that the deterioration in trafficking means that the camp is no longer secure or viable, as more than 1 million refugees live in Cox’s Bazar, crime, drugs and population.

  5. Avatar

    Ameila Leary

    Monday, December 28, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    thisis ryt
    An immense refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Many refugees from Rohingya have fled to the camp. Abuse, drug trafficking and human trafficking are rising. Hundreds of refugees have been evacuated by the Bangladeshi government and, against their wishes, have been transferred to the remote, muddy little island of Bhasan Char. Bangladesh’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, has repeatedly upheld his government’s recommendations and urged the international community to accept that the deterioration in trafficking means that the camp is no longer secure or viable, as more than 1 million refugees live in Cox’s Bazar, crime, drugs and population.
    absolutely

  6. Avatar

    Issan John

    Monday, December 28, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    Thanks, seriously sad that they’ve fled Myanmar only to become second-class Bangladeshis in Bangladesh.

  7. Avatar

    J West

    Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 9:37 am

    Repatriating overcrowded Bangladeshi nationals after a failed invasion of Myanmar, Thus is a Bangladesh problem not a world problem.

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Thailand

Thai PM is ready to work closely with the US President

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Thai PM is ready to work closely with the US President | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PM and US President

Thailand’s PM Prayut Chan-o-cha sent a letter of congratulations to US resident Joe Biden. He says the Thai government is ready to work closely with the US government to promote cooperation in all aspects and all levels.

He also says that Thailand and the US have a long relationship that dates back over 200 years. And, as Thailand is the US’s longest standing ally in Asia, he hopes the US, under President Biden “will not turn its back on the country”.

He also called for cooperation between the 2 countries in handling the global pandemic together, saying “the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic has taught all countries a lesson and that the world is facing historic changes, with the most important thing being “for all of us is to come together face to face and to cooperate with one another”.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Wuhan remembers Covid-19 lockdown on 1 year anniversary

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Wuhan remembers Covid-19 lockdown on 1 year anniversary | The Thaiger

Wuhan is remembering the Covid-19 lockdown that 11 million residents endured on today’s 1 year anniversary. The 76 day lockdown on January 23, 2020 saw public transportation shut down by 10am and a ban on anyone exiting the city, unless they were given special permission. In a city the size of London, locking down painted an eerily quiet landscape.

But such an anniversary today has been met with silence by Beijing as no lockdown commemorations have been planned, almost as though the lockdown never happened. A commentary in the Beijing News professed “mixed feelings,” praising the aggressive lockdown as a model for the world, while noting Wuhan’s sacrifices and the looming virus threat.

“We must not lose the hard-won results of the epidemic to negligence, and must not let the epidemic rebound. Pay tribute to Wuhan. Pay tribute to the strong and fearless Chinese people!”

Despite the government’s reluctance to acknowledge the anniversary, Wuhan’s lockdown ordeals remain fresh the memories of Chinese people, especially as localised Covid-19 clusters have spread across China. Such popups in Covid cases have prompted Beijing to implement mass testing and lockdowns in other areas.

76 year old Huang Genben, is one of those who remembers. He says he spent over 2 months in a hospital last year fighting the virus as he spit up blood, expecting to die, but agrees that such a lockdown was necessary.

“When I closed my eyes at night I didn’t know if I would open them again.”

“We can tell from the results that the policy of the government was correct, the cooperation of Wuhan citizens was correct. I feel pain seeing the epidemic all over the world.”

Today, the streets of Wuhan seem to be the stark opposite of what it was 1 year ago, with elderly dancers spinning in parks and crowded bars selling “Wuhan Stay Strong” craft beer, while the rest of the world is still dealing with the fallout of the pandemic.

But 58 year old street vendor Xu Jiajun, contradicts the somewhat merry street scenes as he says things have changed since the pandemic began.

“The situation is not good. I don’t have a stable income like I did before.”

As the Covid-19 virus is generally believed to have spread from a Wuhan wet market where exotic animals were sold as food, World Health Organisation experts are almost finished with a 2 week quarantine in Wuhan where they plan to investigate the coronavirus’ origins.

Worldwide, the virus has been responsible for killing at least 2 million people, but in China authorities have reported fewer than 5,000 deaths, with the vast majority coming from Wuhan when the pandemic most probably originated.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Patong, Phuket Town, Chalong to fund residents’ vaccination

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Patong, Phuket Town, Chalong to fund residents’ vaccination | The Thaiger

Patong and Phuket Town are planning to fund registered residents’ Covid-19 vaccines, Thai and foreign, with the hope to speed up the inoculation process without waiting for the national government. The mayors of both cities say they have already allocated the funds to move forward with purchasing the vaccines after the government approves which ones may be used.

Like any other municipality in Thailand, the Covid-19 vaccine must be acquired from the Ministry of Public Health. A spokesperson says their office had yet to receive the news on how many doses of the vaccine Phuket could receive or in which order to vaccinate people.

“I don’t want to wait in the queue to get the vaccine budget. Chalong people deserve to receive vaccines. They do not need to pay.”

Chalong officials have confirmed that the Covid vaccines will be freely available to all people registered as living in Chalong Subdistrict, regardless whether the resident is Thai or foreign.

“There are about 20,000 to 30,000 people in Chalong. This includes everyone: Thais, migrant workers and other foreigners registered as living in Chalong, such as retirees and foreigners staying here for other reasons. They will all receive the vaccine.”

Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupana has also confirmed to The Phuket News that Phuket City Municipality will also administer free vaccines to the over 79,000 people living in Phuket Town. But he says only people who were registered as living in the city limits at the end of December would be eligible to receive the free vaccines. Chalermluck Kebsup, Mayor of Patong, is also following suit by offering free vaccines to registered residents.

“We deserve to get the vaccine quickly because Phuket is a tourism province, our people depend on tourism.”

It has been 26 days since Phuket had any positive cases of Covid-19, but Chalermluck says a vaccine will curb worries of Covid spreading.

“The vaccine is our hope in stopping this fear. If local residents receive the vaccine as quickly as possible, I think people will be more confident in receiving domestic tourists. Then businesses can run.”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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