Dhaka : Myanmar authorities have lured dozens of mainly Buddhist Bangladeshi tribal families to cross the border and resettle on land abandoned by fleeing Muslim Rohingya, officials said on Monday.
About 50 families from remote hill and forest areas on the Bangladesh side, attracted by offers of free land and food, have moved to Rakhine state in mainly Buddhist Myanmar — the scene of a brutal army crackdown which prompted hundreds of thousands of Rohingya to flee. The families from the ethnic Marma and Mro tribes have left their homes in the Bandarban hill district, local councillor Muing Swi Thwee told AFP. He said 22 families departed from their villages in the Sangu forest reserve last month.
Bangladesh denies Rohingya boat set sail from its shores
Bangladesh officials said on Monday, a fishing boat carrying Rohingya Muslims to Southeast Asia did not set sail from its shores, where close to one million refugees live in congested camps. Police in Bangladesh’s southeast said they were investigating after a boat moored at a Thai island with dozens of Rohingya aboard, but were adamant their coast guard would have spotted the vessel.
“The boat didn’t leave from Bangladesh,” said Afrujul Haq Tutul, deputy police chief in Cox’s Bazar district where the Rohingya camps are located.