Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bangladesh Cut Rice Rations To Large Rohingya Families

Rohingya refugee children born in Bangladesh.
Bangladeshi birth control for Rohingyas -- 
A parliamentary panel has recommended special birth control measures for Rohingya refugee families in Bangladesh who want bigger family members to secure more rations.

Children born in these families in the Cox's Bazar refugee camps get full rations after birth. The standing committee on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has recommended stopping rations for children after the first two.

Panel members, after a visit to the Kutupalang camp at Ukhiya on Aug 17 and 18, say the problem is worsening as the Myanmar Rohingyas are outnumbering the locals with each passing day. Muslim Rohingya influx started in the 1980s due to political instability in Myanmar.

The government estimates around 30,000 Rohingyas are currently staying in the two camps in Cox's Bazar. It is believed that around half a million undocumented Rohingyas are staying in Bangladesh or have migrated to other countries from here. Myanmar has ignored repeated calls by Bangladesh to take back its citizens.

Dhaka claims the illegal Rohingyas are involved with various criminal activities. They have also been caught while accepting fake Bangladeshi passports. Parliamentary panel's chief Nilufar Zafar Ullah, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, and committee member Nazma Akter visited the Rohingya camps to see for themselves the problem on ground.

The committee on Sept 18 submitted a report, a copy of which is available with It says the numbers of Rohingyas are increasing in comparison to the locals. Each registered refugee gets 12 kg rice each month. They are not interested in birth control as a child gets full ration from the day it is born. Panel members found families with as many as 18 members.

Speaking to, Nilufer Zafar Ullah said the Rohingya population was on the rise since they get ration. "One of the problems is their outnumbering the locals and so, birth control measures have been recommended," she said.

According to the report, 58 percent of 30,000 Rohingyas at the two camps were born in Bangladesh. There are 23 schools in the camps and the committee said the refugees were getting 'better' facilities than the locals.

Emphasising on the repatriation of the Rohingyas, Nilufer said, the refugees wanted to go back to their country. She said stakeholders had been asked to hold talks to send them back to Myanmar.

Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh's Cox Bazzar.
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