Narinjara news

Dhaka Rangoon Talks conclude: meeting to solve border problems

Dhaka, 23rd May:  During the three-day long high-level border conference between Dhaka and Rangoon that concluded yesterday in Dhaka, a Joint Record of Discussion (JRD) was signed between the officials of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and Immigration Headquarters of Burma, according to UNB.

The JRD, signed at the close of the meet, would pave the way for holding of meetings every six months to sort out border-related problems and issues.  The two sides discussed cross-border smuggling, fishing in the Bay of Bengal, cross-border human traffic, and also holding of commander-level flag meetings and DG-level conference every six months.  The discussion also included issues like innocent trespassing by citizens of both the countries, exchange of lists of detained persons on both the sides, and a host of bilateral issues.

According to today the Ittefaq, the discussion yesterday also included issues of quicker repatriation of fishermen caught fishing on both sides of the international boundary in the Bay of Bengal and quicker repatriation of the prisoners whose sentences have long been over.

At present there are about one thousand Burmese prisoners in Bangladesh jails, many of whose prison terms have expired for as mush as five years and who cannot be repatriated due to the denial by the Burmese junta as their own citizens.  Many of the Burmese prisoners told our correspondent that due to forced relocation of many of the families of the prisoners, they themselves could not trace the whereabouts of their near and dear ones.  In recent months there has been a number of unrest in the prisons where these Burmese prisoners have been kept including the prisons in Bandarban, Comilla and Cox’s Bazaar. 

The Bangladesh side was led by the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) director general Major General M Jahangir Alam Chowdhury while the Burmese side was headed by the Director General of Immigration Headquarters, U Maung Htay.  According to a BDR press release, deputy director general, director and sector commanders of BDR, representatives from the ministries, departments and Joint River commission were on the Bangladesh delegation.  The Burmese delegation included senior deputy director and director of the Immigration Headquarters, and reperesentatives from immigration, social welfare, and relief ministries.  #