Narinjara News



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