Bangladesh destroys unofficial Burmese refugee camp

News – Kaladan Press
TUESDAY, 16 JUNE 2009 15:35

Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh: Temporary huts of unofficial Burmese refugees were destroyed by Bangladeshi authorities yesterday. About 500 huts were destroyed near the Kutupalong official refugee camp under Ukhiya union, said Lala Meah of the refugee camp.

Yesterday the police, Ansar, foresters and some local people raided the unofficial refugee camp and destroyed the huts. About 18 refugees were injured during the operation. Of them, one refugee woman Rashida Begum (30) was seriously injured and taken to MSF clinic for treatment.

The other 16 injured refugees are also being treated in the MSF (Holland) clinic in Ukhiya union, he added. Some of the injured refugees are—Sayed Karim ( 3 months), Minara Begum (25 years), Raziya Begum (30 years), Nur Zahan (40 years), Fatema Khatun (30), Noor Kalam ( 4 years), Siniwara Begum (35), Rona Akter ( 2 years), Noor Naher ( 3 years) and Hameda Begum(25).

The refugees have fled to the southwest side of the earlier camp and are building new huts there with leaves, bushes and plastics. Some of the refugee children may fall sick due to excessive heat, said another refugee Sultan Ahmed.

There are about 29,399 people from 5,158 families living in the unofficial camp. Daily one or two families from Arakan State come to this camp, according to our correspondent. This unofficial camp was built last year while the Bangladesh authorities were driving out Burmese people, who have been taking shelter in the local villages, while updating the voters list of Bangladeshi people. At that time, some of the refugees were living there, but later, many refugees joined the camp.

Recently, in Arakan State, the Burmese junta has increased persecution of Rohingya people, so many fled to Bangladesh. They came to the unofficial refugee camp, said a new comer named Jalal from the camp.

Earlier, Bangladeshi authorities destroyed this camp twice apprehending further infiltration from Arakan State to the camp if they got wind of the fact that the existing unofficial refugees’ condition is good.

They do not get any help from NGOs and other organizations. Sometimes, they got some relief from philanthropists. They work in local areas. Some refugees have died due to drinking water shortage which caused diarrhea and dysentery. Some died of starvation and malaria, said Nazir Ahmed.

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