The home ministry has decided to reinforce the provision of “no free passes” for foreigners visiting the three Chittagong Hill Tracts districts – Rangamati, Khagrachhari and Bandarban.
According to a recent ministry order, the provision for foreigners – to submit an application to the home ministry a month ahead of their scheduled visit – will be strictly followed from now on.
State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan issued the written order in this regard to the heads of administration of the three districts, reports our Bandarban correspondent.
Dated January 7, the order was disclosed to The Daily Star by Mizanul Haque, deputy commissioner of Bandarban, today. He said he obtained the letter on the day before yesterday.
The Daily Star has obtained a copy of the letter which said the order will be applicable for everyone visiting Bangladesh except diplomats.
The foreigners will be allowed to visit the districts if a positive report is obtained after scrutinising their application.
The letter said if any foreigner wants to talks with members of the ethnic minority in those regions, they will have to talk in presence of the military, BGB or local administration.
The restrictions for foreigners in CHT was in effect from beforehand, but now, the home ministry has forwarded a written recommendation for implementation of the rules.