Myanmar returns 155 migrants to Bangladesh

Arifa
By July 23, 2015 14:18

Myanmar returns 155 migrants to Bangladesh

Myanmar has returned to Bangladesh 155 migrants rescued at sea after a month-long verification of their nationality.

The migrants were among at least 900 rescued at sea and brought to Arakan (Rakhine) state by the Myanmar navy in late May.

Saw Naing, district immigration officer in Maungdaw township, told ucanews.com July 23 that there were another 389 people remaining at a border camp in the township. Myanmar officials were working to verify their nationality, Saw Naing said.

State media reported in mid-July that Myanmar would repatriate 165 Bangladeshi migrants on July 22. But Saw Naing said 10 migrants escaped the camp, reducing the number of returnees to 155.

Myanmar has already returned 187 migrants to Bangladesh; the government earlier had claimed that all the rescued migrants were Bangladeshi.

However, during the verification process, carried out by Myanmar and Bangladeshi officials, some 195 people  were determined to be from Myanmar and returned to their homes in Arakan (Rakhine) state in late June.

The rescued men were among thousands caught up in a boat crisis that spread through Southeast Asia in May and June.

The crisis was triggered when Thai authorities cracked down on human traffickers after discovering dozens of mass graves in abandoned camps near the Thailand-Malaysia border.

The crackdown prompted traffickers to abandon their human cargoes, many of whom were still at sea heading to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The ensuing crisis sparked an international outcry against trafficking gangs preying on Bangladeshi migrants looking to escape poverty in Bangladesh and innocent Rohingya  fleeing persecution in Myanmar.

However,Myanmar officials denied allegations of persecution of the Rohingya.

Myanmar’s Catholic leader, Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon, has said that nearly 30 percent of Myanmar citizens lack “identity documents” and are not recognized as citizens.

“Can a third of the population be orphaned from family? Who are these people without a name and identity?” Cardinal Bo said in a July 20 statement.

Note: Changes have been made, UCAnews is not responsible for these.

Source: UCAnews.

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Arifa
By July 23, 2015 14:18

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