Govt probing Aug 25 Rohingya rally, roles of NGOs

File photo: A massive gathering of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people to observe two years of their latest exodus from Rakhine at a field in Camp No 4 (Extension) at Kutupalong's Modhurchhara in Ukhiya on Sunday, August 25, 2019 Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune
File photo: A massive gathering of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people to observe two years of their latest exodus from Rakhine at a field in Camp No 4 (Extension) at Kutupalong’s Modhurchhara in Ukhiya on Sunday, August 25, 2019 Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

3-member team asked to submit report within 7 working days

The government has launched an investigation into the much-talked about rally of the Rohingyas in their settlements on August 25, to commemorate the two years of their latest exodus, and the role of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in organising the gathering, as well as their activities.

In this regard, a three-member probe committee was formed on Tuesday (August 27), and it has been asked to submit the report within seven working days.

“Yes, I formed a three-member committee on Tuesday to look into the issue related to the rally, and the role of NGOs in organising that gathering, and their overall functioning in connection with the crisis,” Abul Kalam, Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) based in Cox’s Bazar, told Dhaka Tribune.

“The committee, headed by an Additional RRRC, has been asked to submit its report,” he said.

About the terms of reference for the committee, Kalam, also an Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, and the top government man on the ground in terms of dealing with the Rohingya crisis, said: “Apart from the circumstances surrounding the rally on August 25, and the roles of NGOs, the probe team will explore ways how to stop such things from happening in the future.”

“The committee will also find the areas of improvement with regards to coordination between different departments of the government working on the issue,” he said.

Earlier, a senior Foreign Ministry official told this correspondent that the ministry referred this matter to the Ministry of Disaster Management, suggesting an inquiry.

About 100,000 displaced Rohingya people attended the rally on August 26, causing a stir among the locals, and the government itself.

Many NGOs were blamed for helping the Rohingyas in organising such a big gathering. They were also blamed for provoking the displaced people not to return to Rakhine.

According to Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, 41 NGOs have been withdrawn from the activities in the Rohingya settlements in Cox’s Bazar.

There was also a certain degree of controversy due to differences in the statements provided by the individuals belonging to the government.

For instance, Foreign Minister Dr Momen claimed, after the Rohingya rally, that the government did not know about it, while documentary evidence shows that the rally had taken place with the full knowledge of the Cox’s Bazar district administration.

https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/rohingya-crisis/2019/09/01/govt-probing-aug-25-rohingya-rally-roles-of-ngos

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