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An indefinite strike in Saint Martin for refusing to leave

The St. Martin's Service Boat Owners' Association, Speedboat, Gumbot, Easybike, Tomtom, Vancouver, Tomtom, Vancouver Hotel-cottage owners association and local people.

A human chain and protest rally is scheduled for this afternoon in St. Martin.

Nur Ahmed, chairman of the St. Martin's Union Parishad (UP), said locals, including business associations, had called for an indefinite strike in protest of the Coast Guard's refusal to leave St. Martin's since this morning. The whole island has been miking since Saturday afternoon calling for an indefinite strike.

Meanwhile, over a pair of,000 tourists WHO visited St. Martin's Island on Sat night have suffered. However, Teknaf Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Mahomet Saiful Islam has urged to stay solely food hotels open for tourists.

Coast Guard St. Martin Station Commander Lt. Mahound Arifuzzaman told Prothom Alo, ‘We square measure simply attempting to implement government directives. holidaymaker trip Chheradia was prohibited a number of months past. a number of these tourists accustomed go there unremarked by USA. Now, thanks to the restrictions obligatory, no a lot of tourists square measure being allowed to go away. '

Leaders of local business organizations claim that the local population of St. Martin's Island is 10 and a half thousand. Another 4,000 people are living in different areas in search of livelihood. The only source of income for more than six and a half thousand people is the tourist season. During the four months of the year, the people of the island are earning their living by transporting tourists.

Khorshed Alam, president of the Speedboat and Gumbot Owners Association, said locals on the island have invested millions of rupees to transport tourists. The owners and workers involved will suffer financially as they will be prevented from leaving. I wish the government good luck in moving away from such suicidal decisions.

On January 2, the Department of Environment issued a public notice containing 14-point instructions. It is promoted in various media. A statement issued by the Department of the Environment declaring the area an "ecologically endangered" area said that unregulated tourism and tourists' unawareness, irresponsibility, environmental and anti-environmental behavior have brought St. Martin's rare environment and biodiversity to the brink of extinction. Some restrictions have been put in place to protect the island. These include not driving any mechanical or non-mechanical vehicles including bicycles, motorbikes, rickshaws and vans on the beaches of the island, not throwing plastic or any kind of waste in the beaches, sea and Naf rivers, not navigating around the island, not walking on the rocks in the tidal area. No walking at the hours of darkness, no lighting at the hours of darkness and no flashlights, no lights on the beach at the hours of darkness, no fireworks and lanterns, no microphones, no loud noises or barbecue parties don't move to Chheradia Island, that has been noninheritable  by the govt, don't feed chips or the other food to the birds from the ship, etc.

Leaders of some trade associations, who did not want to be named, said tourist ships leaving Teknaf in seven ships would not be allowed to dock at the jetty due to obstruction of Chheradia tourist transport.

Syed Alam, general secretary of the Service Boat Owners' Association, said the islanders have been earning their living by transporting tourists for four months of the year. Owners who have invested in this sector as well as workers have to live a life of starvation and starvation. If the ban is not lifted, the strike will continue indefinitely.

Ashim Uddin, general secretary of the St. Martin's Market Committee, said more than 500 shops have been closed since this morning in support of the indefinite strike, considering the island's residents. As a result, about 2,000 tourists who came to the island for Saturday night are suffering in various ways.

Mujibur Rahman, president of the St. Martin Hotel and Cottage Owners' Association, said no tourist would come to visit St. Martin if the flow of tourists to Chheradia was stopped. 

Mohammad Saiful Islam, UNO of Teknaf, told Prothom Alo that it was the job of the local administration to ensure the issuance of government notifications. However, local business organizations should have considered how to deal with the issue without going on strike.

UP Chairman Nur Ahmed said about 200 hotels and cottages have been built on the island in the last one decade due to the indifference of the environment department. Now they have hastily issued a public notice without consulting anyone. This will endanger the livelihood of 10 and a half thousand people of the Saint Martin island.

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