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Saudi to Bangladesh: Issue passports to Rohingya or face consequences

Black_cats

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Saudi to Bangladesh: Issue passports to Rohingya or face consequences
  • 1 DAY AGO
For Riyadh, the Rohingya refugees on the Saudi soil are still ‘undesirables,’ a burden to be dumped on Bangladesh.

A boat carries ethnic-Rohingya off North Aceh, Indonesia, on Wednesday, June 24, 2020. Indonesian fishermen discovered dozens of hungry, weak Rohingya Muslims on the wooden boat adrift off the country's northernmost province (AP Photo/Zik Maulana) ( Zik Maulana / AP )

For the Rohingya diaspora around the world, nowhere is welcome. And in Saudi Arabia, where 54,000 Rohingya have taken refuge, concerns are rife that their welcome there may have come to end after Riyadh threatened Bangladesh with a migration ban, unless Dhaka gave Bangladeshi passports to the persecuted minority.

Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen confirmed this a month ago in a press conference. Bangladesh balked at the idea, but suggested it may be able to provide passports to those who previously held them. Since 2017, Bangladesh has given refuge to over a million Rohingya fleeing ethnic cleansing and persecution from neighbouring Myanmar.

Burmese authorities have consistently refused to give Rohingya passports, given they do not recognize them as citizens.

Bangladesh relies on nearly $15 billion annually in remittances from its migrant workers abroad, 60 percent of which comes from Saudi Arabia, putting it in a bind.

Local media also reported that foreign ministry officials said that Riyadh threatened to put limits on migration workers from Bangladesh if it fails to accept Saudi Arabia’s request, which holds devastating implications for Bangladesh’s economy.

But while the possibility of being granted passports is seemingly positive on the surface, it has not been welcomed as good news by Rohingya living in Saudi Arabia.

Ahmed Khatun, a Rohingya who has lived in Jeddah his entire life identifies with Saudi Arabia more than his homeland.

“We’ve been living in fear of being deported for years. So whenever we’re mentioned in media here our fear grows.”

Khatun details how some of his family relatives were locked up for years in detention centers without charges being pressed for being ‘illegal migrants’.

“After that happened, we knew anything could happen to us. It’s not fair though. My father was born here. I studied here. I grew up here. This is my home now,” he says in fluent Arabic.

Ahmed’s grandfather came to Saudi Arabia in the 1970’s, and was granted residency by King Faisal in a royal bid to support the minority and protect it from the depredations it endured even then.

But raised in Saudi Arabia or not, ultimately “it’s out of our hands,” he says.

No horizon in sight

The Rohinya have recently marked the third anniversary of the tragic campaign of ethinc cleansing that saw more than 700,000 of them flee their ancestral homeland.

Most Rohingya ended up in Bangladesh. But with time and unrelenting Burmese military, their diaspora has come to number 3 million around the world.

Scattered around the globe in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and India; their prospects are grim and unchanging.

With a global covid-19 pandemic wreaking havoc across the globe, their positions are more insecure than ever.

“We can’t get proper jobs, which means we live close to poverty. I count myself lucky for being able to go to school. Many of my friends could not afford to. But it’s painful. When people look at you, they hurry away as if you’re carrying disease. That’s if they look at you all.”

Not all Rohingya were so lucky.

Undesirables

In April 2020, two ships carrying Rohingya refugees was turned away from Malaysia’s coast by its navy, sparking an online panic that fed vitriol and xenophobia, as Malaysians took to projecting their fears on Rohingya fleeing death and despair.

It wasn’t long before they labelled as burdens, with mosques and other establishments barring them from entry.

Currently, foreign expats of any nationality are not allowed to pray Friday communal prayers in mosques.

In one attempt where expats and migrants brought prayer mats outside the mosque, Malaysians reacted by lowering the volume of speakers in the mosque so that worshippers standing outside in the midday heat would not be able to follow the prayers.

In Bangladesh, matters are altogether worse. With the majority of Rohingya staying in cramped conditions in Cox’s Bazar, there was widespread fear that the Rohingya were prime suspects for disease and covid-19 transmission.

While the fears never materialized due to proactive testing measures, Bangladesh is still moving forward with a plan to relocate Rohingya to the remote isolated island of Bhasan Char with an alleged 100,00 housing plots set to be built.

Asked what his views are about the controversial housing project, Khatun sighs and answers a question with a question.

“How is this any different from Jews being held in concentration camps, or when the Japanese were held in camps in World War II? It’s not. You know it. They know it. They’ll do it anyways. We’re the undesirables.”

 

gangsta_rap

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Since when Saudi's got the pair which was removed by American and Israel long time ago ?
yeah but they reserve all this heat for their 'close allies'
might makes right. on a people to people level saudis and iranians may be rivals but they deem each other more worthy than pakis or bengalis
 

Homo Sapiens

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Bangladesh relies on nearly $15 billion annually in remittances from its migrant workers abroad, 60 percent of which comes from Saudi Arabia, putting it in a bind.
This is factually incorrect. This 60 percent is from all the Middle East combined, not just Saudi Arabia. But Saudi is the single largest source of our remittance providing around one-quarter of our total remittance.
 
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DalalErMaNodi

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Arbi madachods need to be boycotted everywhere in the Islamic world. It's time for Hasina to take a stance and dump Saudi as labor export market, we have to do it today or tomorrow anyway. The Arabs will become camel riding goat fvckers again soon, they won't have the money bring millions of cheap labors. No matter the consequences, you need to make a stance against bullies.


Arabi madaris are more interested in taking in Indians and sucking their balls. Arab lands are filled with Indians.

They are a gone case, the Islamic world needs to realize this and make an alternative platform for Muslims excluding the Arabs.


How will this alternative 'platform' help us ?


We don't need any platform, we need to go our own way like Turkey and Indonesia have done, although I'm confused what Turkey is currently angling itself to do.


Muslim 'brotherhood' is a sham, agree with everything else you said. People in Malaysia couldn't give two flying fucks what happens in Bangladesh and vice versa.



We must pull our people out of the Saudi Arabia in timely manner, plan it and then do it in phases.


Create jobs at home or elsewhere and then move our people there, mustn't be hasty, plan must be formulated now though.
 

DalalErMaNodi

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what does that mean ?


Magi is a noun refering to a person who engages in the profession of paddling boats for money; Boatman.


Full form is nouka'r magi, hard to translate the words individually but boat wala would be close.

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Shala in Chittagonian dialect (distinct language within Bangladesh) means a rag or cloth usually made of jute fibres.

We use them as doormats or all purpose floor wipers. They're usually just repurposed jute rice sacks.

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I'm happy to entertain anymore queries you may have :enjoy:
 
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Bengal71

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How will this alternative 'platform' help us ?


We don't need any platform, we need to go our own way like Turkey and Indonesia have done, although I'm confused what Turkey is currently angling itself to do.


Muslim 'brotherhood' is a sham, agree with everything else you said. People in Malaysia couldn't give two flying fucks what happens in Bangladesh and vice versa.



We must pull our people out of the Saudi Arabia in timely manner, plan it and then do it in phases.


Create jobs at home or elsewhere and then move our people there, mustn't be hasty, plan must be formulated now though.
I don't think the alternative platform can help us much but Muslims always had a platform however ineffective.

Having said that, the sand nigs like to image themselves as leaders while being totally incompetent losers. It's evident how furious they are because Turkey and Iran weilding their influence in the Arab world and even engaging in wars. So if there is an alternative platform, BD can join it so they can be shown they have little to no leverage or influence in the Islamic world. It can even be a leverage for negotiating.

In my opinion we need no leverage, no relationship with them whatsoever. Just keep enough relationship so umrah and hajj visas are granted, dump everything else.
 

Homo Sapiens

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Bangladesh should not cower to this unjust threat and bullying. Those 54,000 Rohingyas did not go to Saudi by using Bangladeshi passport. They gone there directly from Myanmar during 1970s and 1980s as late king Faisal allowed them on humanitarian ground. So there is no justification to give Bangladeshi passport to those Rohingyas who were never present in Bangladesh. Our foreign ministry already said, only those Rohingyas who gone to Saudi Arabia by using Bangladeshi passport, Bangladesh govt will re-issue them. This is a very fair position. But Saudi resorted to blackmailing and bullying Bangladesh by exploiting it's weak position related to migrant labor.

We need to take a firm stand. If we accept this bullying and humiliation and do what they say then it will only pile up on us. It will be extremely hard for millions of Bangladeshi migrants and their families if Saudi does as they threaten, but we should not choose shame and humiliation for the sake of remittance money. Look at Iran, even the ''Maximum pressure'' from US could not break it's iron will. This is called a dignified nation.
 
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