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Faced with refugee influx, Bangladesh plans Rohingya sterilisation



Faced with refugee influx, Bangladesh plans Rohingya sterilisation

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]File photo of Rohingya refugees fixing damaged roofs of their huts at a makeshift refugee camp near Cox’s Bazaar. Photo credit: KUOW

Over 600,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar since August following a military crackdown on the persecuted ethnic minority

Bangladesh is planning to introduce voluntary sterilisation in its overcrowded Rohingya camps, where nearly a million refugees are fighting for space, after efforts to encourage birth control failed.

More than 600,000 Rohingya have arrived in Bangladesh since a military crackdown in neighbouring Myanmar in August triggered an exodus, straining resources in the impoverished country.

The latest arrivals have joined hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees who fled in earlier waves from Myanmar’s Rakhine state, where the stateless Muslim minority has endured decades of persecution.

Most live in desperate conditions with limited access to food, sanitation or health facilities and local officials fear a lack of family planning could stretch resources even further.

Pintu Kanti Bhattacharjee, who heads the family planning service in the district of Cox’s Bazar where the camps are based, said there was little awareness of birth control among the Rohingya.

“The whole community has been deliberately left behind,” he told AFP, citing a lack of education in Myanmar, where the Rohingya are viewed as illegal immigrants and denied access to many services.

Bhattacharjee said large families were the norm in the camps, where some parents had up to 19 children and many Rohingya men have more than one wife.

District family planning authorities have launched a drive to provide contraception, but say they have so far managed to distribute just 549 packets of condoms among the refugees, who are reluctant to use them.

They have asked the government to approve a plan to launch vasectomies for Rohingya men and tubectomies for women, Bhattacharjee told AFP.

But they are likely to face an uphill struggle.

Many of the refugees told AFP they believed a large family would help them survive in the camps, where access to food and water remains a daily battle and children are often sent out to fetch and carry supplies.

Others had been told contraception was against the tenets of Islam.

Farhana Sultana, a family planning volunteer who works with Rohingya refugees in the camps, said many of the women she spoke to believed birth control was a sin.

“In Rakhine they did not go to family planning clinics, fearing the Myanmar authorities would give medicine that harms them or their children,” Sultana said.

Volunteers said they struggled to sell the benefits of birth control to Rohingya women, most of whom came to them for advice on pregnancy complications or help with newborns.

Sabura, a mother of seven, said her husband believed the couple could support a large family.

“I spoke to my husband about birth control measures. But he is not convinced. He was given two condoms but he did not use them,” she told AFP.

“My husband said we need more children as we have land and property (in Rakhine). We don’t have to worry to feed them,” she said.

Population control

Bangladesh has for years run a successful domestic sterilisation programme, offering 2,300 taka ($28) and a traditional lungi garment to each man who agrees to undergo the procedure.

Every month 250 people undergo sterilisation in the border town of Cox’s Bazar.

But performing the permanent procedure on non-Bangladeshi nationals requires final approval from a committee headed by the health minister.

The idea is particularly contentious given the sensitivity of the issue in Myanmar. The widespread perception that the Rohingya population is mushrooming is a key source of the tensions that have spiralled in recent months.

No official data is available on birth rates among the Rohingya, who are excluded from the census in Myanmar.

But many of the ethnic Rakhine Buddhists accused of taking part in attacks on Rohingya villages that have driven hundreds of thousands into Bangladesh say they fear being displaced by the Muslim minority.

The Rohingya face official restrictions on the number of children they can have in Myanmar, although this has not been widely enforced.

Rights activists working in the camps in Bangladesh said some believed pregnancy provided protection against rape or other attacks in Myanmar, where the military has been accused of sexual violence against Rohingya women and girls.

“Some of them told us that if a woman was pregnant, she had less chance of being targeted by the military or attackers.”

Bangladesh officials say some 20,000 Rohingya women are pregnant and 600 have given birth since arriving in Bangladesh, though this may be an underestimate as many births take place with no formal medical help.

“Sterilisation of the males is the best way to control the population,” said Bhattacharjee.

“If a man is sterilised, he cannot father a child even if he marries four or five times.”

(With the exception of the headline, this story has not been edited by APNLive staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed provided by AFP)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Latest world news

Google celebrates its 25th birthday with a special doodle

Birthdays can also serve as an opportunity for reflection, even though we at Google are always looking to the future.



Google Doodle

The world’s largest search engine, Google, is marking its 25th birthday today with a unique doodle. Although Google Inc. was founded on September 4, the firm has been commemorating its birthday on September 27 for more than ten years.

In order to commemorate this unique event, the organisation today took a walk down memory lane and displayed several doodles. The GIF accompanying today’s Google Doodle changes Google into G25gle. The IT company claimed that it was utilising today as a time to reflect while remaining focused on the future.

Google said in a blog post, the Doodle for today honours Google’s 25th anniversary. Birthdays can also serve as an opportunity for reflection, even though we at Google are always looking to the future. Take a trip down memory lane to discover how we were created 25 years ago.

Sergey Brin and Larry Page, two PhD students at Stanford University studying computer science in the late 1990s, developed Google. The two quickly discovered that they had similar goals for the World Wide Web, including making it more user-friendly. According to its blog, the duo put in a lot of effort from their dorm rooms to create a prototype for a better search engine.

They transferred the operation to Google’s first workplace, a rented garage, as they made significant headway on the project. The formal founding date of Google Inc. is September 27, 1998, it stated.

The company further said that although a lot has changed since 1998, its goal has not changed, to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Google said in a statement that it was grateful to users for evolving with us over the past 25 years and added, we can’t wait to see where the future takes us, together.

Google’s current CEO Sundar Pichai wrote a letter to commemorate the company’s birthday last month. He reflected on the company’s history, its contribution to the transformation of technology, and the way ahead. He expressed his appreciation for the customers, staff members, and collaborators who contributed to Google’s success. He also expressed gratitude for the commitment of both former and current Google employees as well as the ongoing challenge to innovate.

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Latest world news

Hardeep Nijjar killing row: Canada’s defence minister says ties with India important

The Defence Minister further mentioned that if the allegations are proven true, there is a very significant concern that Canada will have with respect to the violation of our sovereignty.



Hardeep Nijjar killing row: Canada’s defence minister says ties with India important

Canada’s defence minister Bill Blair said that his country’s ties with India are important. HIs statement amidst a diplomatic standoff between both the countries. However, he also added that his country wants a thorough investigation into the allegation. 

The escalating tensions between both the countries began after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asserted that his country’s security agencies were investigating a link between the Indian government and the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. 

Defence Minister Bill Blair noted that they understand this can be, and has proven to be, a challenging issue with respect to their relationship with India. However, at the same time, they have the responsibility to make sure that they carry out a thorough investigation and get to the truth, he added.

The Defence Minister further mentioned that if the allegations are proven true, there is a very significant concern that Canada will have with respect to the violation of our sovereignty. On the other hand, India rejected the allegation as absurd and motivated. 

India’s Ministry of External Affairs remarked that Canada has shared no specific information regarding its charges, flagging politically condoned hate crimes and criminal violence in that country. Furthermore, the foreign ministry has advised its nationals in Canada and those contemplating travelling there to exercise utmost caution.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also claimed that such credible allegations were shared with India weeks ago. He added that they want to work constructively with India and hope that New Delhi engages with them so that they can get to the bottom of this very serious matter.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said that Washington is deeply concerned about the allegations and that they want to see accountability in the case.

Khalistani terrorist, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, 45, was shot dead outside a gurdwara in Canada’s British Columbia in June. He was chief of the banned Khalistan Tiger Force and reportedly one of India’s most wanted terrorists.

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National Daughters Day 2023: History, significance, theme and wishes

The purpose of National Daughter’s Day is to serve as a reminder that girls should be given equal chances, including access to education, practical life skills, and sports participation, among others.



National Daughters Day

In India, Daughter’s Day is observed on the final Sunday in September, which falls on September 24, 2023. India is the only big nation with a higher mortality rate for females than boys, according to UNICEF.

At birth, there are 900 females for every 1000 boys in the nation. In the world, boys are 7% more likely than girls to die before the age of five. In India, though, the figures are dismal, with 11% more girls dying before turning five.

Given these troubling numbers, it is crucial to invest in the wellbeing of girls in order to empower them. The purpose of National Daughter’s Day is to serve as a reminder that girls should be given equal chances, including access to education, practical life skills, and sports participation, among others.

The first National Daughters Day was observed in India in 2007, which is where the holiday’s origins can be found. Daughters have frequently been overlooked in a society where males have long been regarded with awe. The noble goal of this day is to inspire parents to show their admiration for their daughters.

In certain cultures, having daughters has been seen as more of a burden than a blessing. With the goal of reversing this perception, National Daughter’s Day exhorts parents to acknowledge the extraordinary gift that their daughters are.

The significance of National Daughters Day can be found in our ever-changing society. It’s a day set aside to gleefully acknowledge the daughters in our lives. Falling on a Sunday presents a chance for parents and daughters to spend quality time together, cherish one another, and have intimate life-related dialogues. It’s a day for giving, caring, and fostering the cherished relationship between mothers and daughters.


  1. Daughters are special and highly valued, which demonstrates that they were sent from heaven above
  2. Daughters are special; once we have them, we can never live without them. Happy Daughters’ Day!
  3. Daughters are the pride of their parents’ hearts; from birth, they are beautiful
  4. My darling daughter, my baby you will always be, no matter where you are. You are a little part of me, whether near or far. Happy Daughters’ Day!
  5. Daughters will soon be married and grown, then they may start a family of their own
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