News / Asia

Bangladesh Orders Suspension of Aid to Rohingya Refugees

Muslim protesters hold banners during a rally calling for an end to the violence against ethnic Rohingya in Rakhine State of Burma, in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 26, 2012.Muslim protesters hold banners during a rally calling for an end to the violence against ethnic Rohingya in Rakhine State of Burma, in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 26, 2012.
x
Muslim protesters hold banners during a rally calling for an end to the violence against ethnic Rohingya in Rakhine State of Burma, in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 26, 2012.
Muslim protesters hold banners during a rally calling for an end to the violence against ethnic Rohingya in Rakhine State of Burma, in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 26, 2012.
VOA News
Bangladesh is ordering international humanitarian groups to stop providing aid to ethnic Rohingya refugees who have fled deadly communal violence in neighboring Burma.

Local administrator Joynal Bari confirmed Thursday to VOA that the groups Doctors Without Borders, Action Against Hunger and Muslim Aid have been instructed to stop their activities in the southeastern district of Cox's Bazar, which borders Burma.  

Bari said the directive came in a letter from Bangladesh's NGO Affairs Bureau, in which the groups were told they were "working beyond their mandate." The local official would not give details, including how many Rohinyga refugees were being helped by the aid agencies.

Diderik Van Halsema, a spokesperson for Doctor's Without Borders [MSF] said his organization has received the directive.

"At MSF we do confirm that we have received a letter from the Bangladeshi authorities requesting us to stop our activities at our project in Cox's Bazar district in Bangladesh," said Van Halsema. "We are currently discussing this matter with the Bangladeshi authorities, so obviously we don't want to influence those conversations and we await the outcome of that."

Muslim Aid UK, told the French news agency that officials ordered them to stop their so-called "illegal" services in the same area because they supposedly were "encouraging an influx of Rohingya refugees" from Burma.

Sectarian violence between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in Burma's western Rakhine state has left dozens dead since June. Rights groups say Burmese security forces also have carried out a campaign of killings and mass arrests against the Rohingya population.

The Rohingya are considered by most Burmese to be illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, and most are denied citizenship there. But they also are denied citizenship in Bangladesh, where authorities say the group has been living in Burma for centuries.

Despite pressure from the United States and rights groups, Bangladesh has turned away boats carrying scores of Rohingyas who are trying to escape the violence in Burma.

On Wednesday, Human Rights Watch released a report saying that Burmese security forces have committed killings, rape, and mass arrests against Rohingya in the aftermath of the communal violence.

Burma's government, which has a long history of violence against ethnic minorities, has denied that security forces have committed abuses against the Rohingya, saying it has exercised "maximum restraint" in dealing with the conflict.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid