BANGLADESH faces refugee anger over term ''Rohingya'', data collection.

ROHINGYA refugees from Myanmar in camps in Bangladesh began a protest, demanding that Bangladesh recognise their ethnicity as Rohingya and that officials and aid agencies stop sharing their family information with Myanmar.

Markets were shut at several of the refugee camps in southeast Bangladesh because of the protest.

Rohingyas with non-government groups and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees also boycotted their jobs as part of the strike.

''The term ''Rohingya'' is very important because we have been persecuted because of our identity,'' the protesting refugees said in a statement, adding that while the term was banned in Myanmar, it should not be banned in Bangladesh.

More than 700,000 Muslim Rohingya fled a sweeping army crackdown in mostly Buddhist  Myanmar's  Rakhine state last year, according to U.N. agencies.

The crackdown was launched in response to Rohingya insurgent attacks on security forces

Bangladesh has been urging the refugees to accept smart cards that help with identification and the distribution of aid. The smart cards, however, identify an individual as a  ''forcibly displaced Myanmar national'' and not as Rohingya.

The protesters also expressed concern about a UNHCR plan to collect biometric data and copies of documents, as they fear the UNHCR and Bangladesh authorities could share the data with Myanmar, which could use the information against them [Agencies]


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!