Hindu community in Bangladesh cuts back on religious festival to help Rohingya Muslims

They cut short expenses for Durga Pooja celebrations to fund relief projects instead

News Desk October 04, 2017
Rohingya refugees queue for aid in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, October 1, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

Hindus in Bangladesh cut down expenses of Durga Pooja, to help aid Rohingya Muslims migrating from violence-hit Rakhine state of Myanmar.

“Their [ Rohingyas] mass exodus has unfolded a horrific humanitarian crisis (and so) we will stand by the persecuted refugees with assistance by saving during the Dugra Puja festival,” said the general secretary of the Bangladesh’s apex Puja Celebration Council.

He added that the celebration committees across the country had been asked to set up funds to provide relief to the refugees instead.

UN expects up to 300,000 Rohingya refugees

More than half a million Rohingya have arrived in Bangladesh over the last five weeks after militant attacks on police checkposts there sparked violent reprisals, with entire villages burned to the ground.

Most are now living in desperate conditions in overcrowded camps in impoverished Bangladesh, which has repeatedly urged Myanmar to repatriate them.

Myanmar ‘to provide aid’ to displaced Rohingya inside country 

In a speech to the UN General Assembly last month, Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina proposed creating UN-supervised safe zones inside Myanmar to protect them. Hasina accused Myanmar authorities of laying landmines on the border to prevent the Rohingya from returning and said the UN must take immediate measures to find a solution to the crisis.


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