Burma Times Correspondent: September 6, 2015
Rohingya refugees in Leda of Bangladesh say they are in dire straits owing to the miserable conditions persisting in the camp. The policies of their leaders are making the whole situation worse for them as they seem to be involved in criminal activities.
Many Leda refugees say because of the criminal activities of many leaders, the whole community has acquired a criminal reputation in the eyes of the Bangladesh authorities and the Bengali population in the Cox’s Bazar region where most refugees are concentrated.
They point out that the chairman of Leda camp Hafez Ayub is long known to be in cahoots with human traffickers and is absconding from the police. In his absence, his duties are carried out by the secretary Amir Hossain who is not known to be a fair man.
One refugee Md Iliyas says that whenever disputing parties go to Amir for a resolution, he takes the side of the one who can pay him and not the side of the right.
Another refugee Dudu Miah says Amir has a suspicion of Rohingyas who are better educated and might challenge the traditional authority of people. He says those opposing the camp secretary often find themselves in the custody of Bangladesh police with whom Amir has good relations. He says that the educated Rohingyas should take the leadership of the camp which is a vital centre for Rohingya refugees, but the strong handed measures employed by the traditional leadership prevents that from happening.
“Until the educated people take over leadership in the camps, the reputation of the community will not improve,” says another Leda resident unwilling to be named.
Locals also expressed dismay at sanitary and health conditions pointing out the overflowing toilets and the almost complete lack of medical care.