Narinjara news

Fast-unto-death : Burmese citizens on hunger strike In a Bangladeshi Jail

Bandarban, 1
st April 02: A total of 552 Thai and Burmese nationals detained in the south-eastern hill district jail in Bangladesh even after expiry of their prison terms went on hunger strike demanding repatriation, according to a police officer in the jail.

The agitated prisoners, who began fast-unto-death from Friday night, refused to eat or hold any discussion with the administration.

Of the prisoners, 79 are Thai while 473 Burmese nationals constituting of Rakhine, Burmese, Mon, Kayin, Muslims including Rohingyas - who were jailed on various charges and have already completed their prison terms.

" The administration has taken all-out measures by tightening security and deploying police reinforcements to check any possible demonstrations or indiscipline inside the jail" said the official.

Fire Brigade and Civil Defense Forces have also been put on stand-by near the jail. Meanwhile, the jail authorities have decided to move out 200 prisoners to Comilla, 50 to Rangamati and another 50 to Noakhali jail in case the situation does not improve.

These prisoners have not been taken back even after repeated rejoinders to their respective government authorities by the Bangladeshi officials, according to the prison official in the jail.

The hunger strike coincides with a Buddhist pagoda festival allegedly conducted by a Buddhist monk from Bandarban who has close ties with the Burmese junta leaders and who the Burmese Embassy officials in Dhaka often call on. In the festival an open air Burmese theatre troupe the Shwe Radana performed for three evenings. The festival attracted hordes of people in the Bandarban area while there was a hunger strike by Burmese inmates inside the jail not very far from the festival. #