Narinjara News

Will 15 Burmese citizens go back to homeland after 4 years imprisonment?

By San Shwe Aung, Cox’sbazar

Cox’sbazar, April 28:
15 Burmese citizens have been suffering from in decision whether they should go back to homeland or take shelter in Bangladesh after completion of 4 years jail sentenced by a Bangladesh court on 22th April 2004 for smuggling rice to Bangladesh from Burma.

As they have been arrested on 10th November 2001 from Bangladesh water territory, their 4 years imprisonment term would be ended soon.

The judge who has awarded the jail also ordered the relevant authority to send them back to their homeland as soon as the completion of jail term. Therefore, they will be deported to Burma very soon, it was learnt.

One of the relatives of the prisoners said jailing by judge is a cut clear decision, better than undecided fate in prison for many years. But the information about sending them back to Burma is a matter of great anxious for us.

In some cases, by bribing huge amount of money to relevant authority lodging suit again them in Burma can be avoided and there would be nothing going to happen to them therein Burma.

Bangladesh BDR captured two engine boats and rice worth about Kyats 30 million along with those 15 prisoners on the same spot.

The same relative added that if possible it would be best to set them free at somewhere near border in spite of handing them over to Burmese authority.

In the past Burmese prisoners were set free by the Bangladesh authority about the border. At present this practice is totally impossible due to improvement of the relationship between the two neighboring countries.   

If they went back to Burma, they may be arrested again and could be sentenced up to ten years jail under Burmese penal code in connection with smuggling out goods to foreign countries, said the relative.

According to a person who has been assisting those prisoners concerning legal aid and other things said that they could not still come to final decision whether they should apply for the shelter in Bangladesh to avoid arrest or go back to their homeland.

The farmers of Arakan have been illegally selling their rice and paddy through the waterway to Bangladesh for many decades due to forcible buying the rice and paddy at very much low price by Burmese government. #