PM Hasina in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh after 5 years

PM Hasina in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh after 5 years
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina speaks at a rally in Cox's Bazar on 7 December, 2022. © Prothom Alo. December 7, 2022.

Irene Asia Scomparin – South Asian Countries Researcher, Global Human Rights Defence

Five years after her last visit to the site, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina held a meeting in Cox’s Bazar in front of a multitude of people to inaugurate the international maritime military drills at the Inani beach. The 2022 International Fleet Review (IFR) themed ‘Friendship beyond the Horizon’ welcomed around thirty countries from all over the world, amongst which were the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, and India. Following the maritime drill, PM Hasina spoke at a rally organised by the Cox’s Bazar Awami League at Shaheed Sheikh Kamal Cricket Stadium at Laboni Point on the beach (BDNews, 2022).

On December 7, 2022, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stated that the Government of Bangladesh is currently working hard to safeguard the marine environment, which will in turn guarantee the protection of all maritime resources and trade: “a prosperous economy only comes when we can ensure a safe and secure environment in the ocean,” she said during the meeting (Dhaka Tribune, 2022b). During this occasion, Hasina also inaugurated twenty-nine development projects which will be carried out in Cox’s Bazar, including flood control, dam reconstruction, road repair and infrastructure construction projects (Dhaka Tribune, 2022a). 


On the website created for the IFR 2022, Chief of Naval Staff Bangladesh Navy Admiral Mohammad Shaheen Iqbal presented the location of the event, Cox’s Bazar. “We extend you a very warm welcome and offer you to enjoy the solemn tranquillity of Inani Beach of Cox’s Bazar,” he writes, and “hope your stay will be pleasant and you will take away many fond memories of Bangladesh” (IFR 2022, at Regardless of the encouraging appeal of these pledges, we cannot forget that there is still a high number of improvements required within the nation of Bangladesh, especially regarding the location of the talks itself: Cox’s Bazar. First of all, these infrastructures could entail a negative impact on the already critical climate conditions of Bangladesh. In fact, in the close future, Bangladesh will have to deal with an increase in more intense and frequent natural events such as monsoons and cyclones. This could threaten the lives of millions of people inhabiting the country’s coastline of Cox’s Bazar, who could end up facing food insecurity and mass displacement (Human Rights Watch report, 2022).


Moreover, Cox’s Bazar is currently one of the biggest hubs in the world for refugees and forcibly displaced people, especially the Rohingya community from the neighbouring regions of Myanmar. The settlement is severely overcrowded, and people tend to lack even the most basic needs such as safe drinking water, healthcare, and sanitation. In addition to these precarious conditions, since the big influx of Rohingyas started in 2017, the Government of Bangladesh has put into action a resettlement plan of migrants toward Bhasan Char, a remote ‘island jail’ in the Bay of Bengal (Human Rights Watch report, 2021). According to authoritative sources such as Human Rights Watch and the UN Refugee Agency, Bangladesh proceeded with the relocation of numerous Rohingya refugees in Bhasan Char despite previous arrangements with the UN. While Bangladeshi authorities have stated that refugees chose to relocate to the island voluntarily, a Human Rights Watch report found that many of them were transferred without complete consent or have been prevented from returning to the mainland (Human Rights Watch report, 2022). Hundreds have attempted to flee the island to escape the precarious living conditions characterised by a lack of safe drinking water and food supplies, education and healthcare infrastructures, and continuous exposure to flooding (Human Rights Watch reports, 2021 and 2022).

Bibliography: (December 7, 2022). Hasina visits Cox’s Bazar after five years. Retrieved on December 8, 2022, from

Dhaka Tribune. (December 7, 2022a). PM Hasina opens 29 development projects at Cox's Bazar rally. Dhaka Tribune. Retrieved on December 8, 2022, from

Dhaka Tribune. (December 7, 2022b). PM Hasina: Govt working to secure sea for economic prosperity. Dhaka Tribune. Retrieved on December 8, 2022, from

Human Rights Watch. (June 7, 2021). “An Island Jail in the Middle of the Sea” Bangladesh’s Relocation of Rohingya Refugees to Bhasan Char. Human Rights Watch. Retrieved on December 8, 2022, from

Human Rights Watch. (2022). Bangladesh - Events of 2021. Human Rights Watch. Retrieved on December 8, 2022, from