Dhaka: Bangladesh has started moving a second group of Rohingya refugees to a controversial flood-prone island in the Bay of Bengal despite opposition from rights activists.
More than 1,600 of the Muslim minority from Myanmar were taken to Bhashan Char earlier this month, and Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said just under 1,000 are in the latest group heading for what he called a “beautiful resort”.
Buses took the Rohingya from camps in Cox’s Bazar, where nearly one million refugees have sought shelter from violence in their native Myanmar, to Chittagong port where they will be taken to the barren island.
“They are going voluntarily. They are very eager to go to Bhashan Char because they have heard from their relatives, those who have gone to Bhashan Char, that (it) is an excellent place,” Momen told media on Monday.
He claimed the island was “100 times better” than the camps, and that the refugees had “appealed” to be taken there.
“Bhashan Char is a beautiful resort. It is an excellent resort. And once anybody goes there, they will love it,” the minister added.