Update: This article says 500 are going to Canada and Australia.
Here is an article that gives a blueprint for how refugees end up in the West. In this case it is the Burmese Muslims, the Rohingya, who have the strategy down and know what they need to do. Stay put, live in misery, have loads of babies, make trouble for the locals, and countries like Canada (with a push from the UN) will rescue them.
The Rohingya, like many other ethnic minorities in Myanmar (Burma), a mostly Buddhist nation, were given a tough time (we won’t deny that) and consequently began spreading out throughout southeast Asia. A large number are now in camps in Bangladesh, where they are not wanted—busy producing ever larger families according to this report.
The UN did initially try to persuade the Rohingya to return to Myanmar, but now that is not going to happen.
The long-standing Rohingya issue is unlikely to be resolved in near future as Myanmar is not responding to Bangladesh’s appeal to take the refugees back and they also don’t want to go home.
The entire repatriation process is stalled for over three years and the United Nations High Commissioners for Refugees (UNHCR) is urging the Bangladesh government not to send the Myanmar citizens back.
“They had fled from Myanmar due to persecution related matters. So now they don’t want to go back. The UNCHR also doesn’t want to force them,” says a high UNHCR official.
The whole matter is very critical, the official adds asking not to be identified.
Some who were repatriated have returned to camps. No one (officially) really knows who the “unregistered” are.
Allegations are rife many refugees who were repatriated over the years came back crossing the border and are now living with the local community as unregistered Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar, Bandarban and Chittagong.
And, no one knows who is coming in and out of camps, but tensions are building with the local Bangladeshis.
Local people from Teknaf and Cox’s Bazar say Rohingyas indulge in theft, robbery and different other social crimes, though they are not allowed to leave camps without permission.
In the last few lines of this Daily Star article we learn why the Rohingya persist in the camps. The UN has managed to convince Canada to take 78 of them so they are all holding out and putting on a major public relations campaign to be resettled in first world countries. This campaign has extended to the US, as we have been reporting in our category Rohingya Reports.
Speaking anonymously, an RRRC (Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner) official says the Rohingyas are much interested to stay in Bangladesh as UNHCR sent some of them to Western countries.
“So far they have sent 78 Rohingyas to Canada. So the rest are much interested to stay here as they might have chances to fly abroad,” the official adds.
For readers who have not heard about the Rohingya, check out this wikipedia article and our Rohingya Reports category mentioned above.
As hard as it might sound, the bottomline is that we can’t save the world.