76 BURMESE NATIONALS TO
RETURN HOME THIS MONTH
SYLHET, June 21: The Myanmar government has agreed to bring back its
76 national from Selhet jail whose terms of
imprisonment ended in 1998.
The 76 freed Myanmar
nationals are expected to return to their homes at any time in the current
month. With their return their five-year prison life will come to an end.
Sylhet jail sources said the Bangladesh
naval police detained 76 Myanmar
nationals in 1997 for fishing illegally in the Bay of Bengal
within the maritime boundary of Bangladesh.
After their arrest they were sent to Cox’sbazar jail
from where they were shifted to Sylhet district jail.
While in Sylhet jail their trial was held and they
were convicted to different terms of imprisonment which ended on April 15, 1998. After the end of the
terms of imprisonment, the 76 freed Myanmar
nationals could not return to their country, as the Myanmar
government was not co-operative with the Bangladesh
government in bringing them back. And as such they were kept confined in Chittagong jail.
After the end of their terms of imprisonment, the Myanmar
nationals demanded of the Chittagong
jail authority to take measures for their return to their country. When the
matter was being delayed, they became unruly and went on hunger strike.
Under the circumstances, on March 3,
1999 all the 76 Myanmar
nationals were shifted to Sylhet jail. There also
they demanded to take measures for their return to their homeland. But as the
concerned authority remained indifferent to their demand they revolted on April 14, 2000. During this time 37 Myanmar
nationals tried to flee. Failing in their attempt, they climbed the coconut
trees and the roof of the jail building and threatened to commit suicide if
measures were not taken for their return to their homeland.
The assurance that measures would be taken soon for their return, they got down
from the coconut trees.
After that the Bangladesh
government started discussion with the Myanmar
government for the return of the freed Myanmar
nationals to their country.
On the basis of discussions the Myanmar
government agreed to bring the 76 freed prisoners back to the country.
The concerned authority as part of the preparation for their repatriation sent
71 of them to Cox’sbazar jail. The rest five would be
sent to Cox’sbazar jail soon.
After completion of all formalities, the 76 Myanmar
nationals would be sent to their home country through Cox’sbazar-
Teknaf borders at any time this month.#
Source: today indepedent