Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of COAST Trust Quoted in The Daily Star Newspaper “Rohingya Repatriation: Doubt lingers as conflict flares up in Myanmar” dated on 14 march 2019


Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, head of COAST Trust, a non-profit body working for the Rohingyas, said there was a grave danger of radicalisation if the Rohingyas were not provided with education and income-generating activities. Vested groups could take advantage of their frustration and idle days in the camps, he added.

He said the religiously-conservative Rohingyas should be given education, skills and income-generating opportunity. The authorities need to work on promoting cultural and human values among them, he added.

Kalam said authorities and aid agencies were trying to ensure informal education and skills like sewing and homestead gardening for the refugees. This can reduce their dependence on aid to some extent.

The government and aid agencies are mobilising Rohingya men and women and promoting human and cultural values to address the risks of radicalisation, he noted.

Meanwhile, Chowdhury of COAST said locals felt deprived of their own rights due to the influx.

Rohingyas provide cheap labour in farms around the refugee camps, which is a matter of concern for the local workers, he added.

Locals have been affected by the destruction of forest, which was a big source of income for them, he said.

Chowdhury said food and other supplies required for the Rohingya are brought from other districts; the government can take initiatives to produce the supplies in Cox’s Bazar to help the local economy.

Foreign countries can also invest in Cox’s Bazar for productive activities, which can generate jobs and help local economy — a proposition that is more sustainable, he added. [Click here details report]