16 January 2020, The Tablet

Rohingya face expulsion from India

Rohingya face expulsion from India

Rohingya children in the refugee camp at Cox’s Bazar, in Bangladesh
PA/Nurphoto, Kazi Salahuddin Razu


Two-and-a-half years since almost one million Muslim Rohingya were driven over Myanmar’s border into Bangladesh, they face a mortal new threat, this time from India

Since their forced removal from their homes, the Rohingya have festered in what is now the world’s biggest refugee camp, the unwelcome guests of an increasingly exasperated Bangladeshi government.

One of the poorest and most overcrowded countries in the world, Bangladesh has probably responded as decently and generously as it could have done in the circumstances. It has been let down by the international community, which, by contrast, has been remarkably ungenerous. But the patience of the Bangladeshi authorities has reached breaking point. They now refuse to take in any more Rohingya; mobile phone coverage has been cut off in the camps and the border with Myanmar is being militarised to staunch the flow.

If all this weren’t bad enough, the Rohingya now face another, more immediate threat, this time from one of the world’s biggest and most powerful countries – India. After a rancorous debate in parliament, the Indian government passed the Citizen (Amend­ment) Bill last December, supposedly to fi

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