Monday, June 1, 2009

Fifty two Burmese nationals pushed from Bangladesh


Teknaf (Narinjara): Fifty two Burmese nationals, all Muslims, were pushed back by the Bangladesh Rifles, the country’s border security force to their home lands on Saturday through border crossing points, said an official report.

Lt. Colonel Abdul Khaleque, Commanding Officer of the BDR’s 42 Rifles Battalion based in Teknaf said that among the 52 deportees, 20 are children and 10 are women while the rest are men.

The BDR pushed back 45 of them to Burma from Naitong Hill Point in Teknaf Township, located on the bank of Naff River, while seven were sent back to Burma from the Gundum-Taungbro land crossing border point.

The Colonel said recently 400 Muslims from Burma were caught at several border points after illegally entering Bangladesh. They were subsequently pushed back to Burma.

Earlier, many Muslim people were pushed back to Burma after Bangladeshi border security forces stopped them at the border. Most of the Burmese nationals entered Bangladesh from several border points including Naitong border point on Naff River, St Martian Island located at the mouth of the Naff River, Nila border point and the Gundum –Taungbro border points.

The exodus of Muslims from Burma to Bangladesh has increased after the Burmese junta authorities started to erect barbed wire fences along the border.

Bangladeshi border security forces are closely watching the border after many Muslims from Arakan state started entering Bangladesh.

Burmese Muslims are entering Bangladesh at a time when the Bangladesh government is preparing to repatriate Muslim refugees from two refugee camps located in southern Bangladesh to Burma.

Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said at a press conference in Dhaka on Friday that the Burmese military authorities told her during her latest trip that the country would take back the Burmese Muslim refugees.

During her visit on May 16 and 17, the junta leaders admitted that the Muslim are Myanmarese and agreed to take them back, she said

She also said the Burmese regime has sought a list from Dhaka on the number of Muslim Refugees living in Bangladesh as part of the repatriation process.

She observed that the influx of Burmese refugees from Myanmar was not a new development, rather the Arakan people were continuously intruding into Bangladesh for a long time.

Her rather candid comments came as the Bangladeshi media reported massive intrusion of Burma Muslim refugees in Cox's Bazaar and Bandarban districts.

Dipu Moni said the refugee flow would not stop unless Burma military authorities guaranteed "qualitative change" in Arakan state.

"Muslims from Burma infiltrating has always been there. They have been coming continuously," she said.

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