Sunday, June 07, 2009

Burma: Bangladesh border security force pushing back refugees

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Everyday, the Bangladesh border security force (BDR) is pushing back Burmese nationals to Burma through different transit points of the border area, according to BDR sources.

More than 83 Rohingya, a Burmese ethnic minority, were pushed back to Burma from different transit points of the border this week, sources said.

BDR arrested 40 Rohingya from Cox’s Bazaar bound buses in different check-posts today, said Mintu, a bus driver from Cox’s Bazaar.

According to Major Md. Tanim Hossen, Operations Officer, 17 BDR Battalion, Cox's Bazar said that a total of 83 Rohingya, including man, women and children entered Bangladesh from different border points of Teknaf, Ukhiya and Nikkongchari upazila of Cox's Bazar district and Bandarban hill district during the last two days.

Later, the BDR pushed back three Rohingyas from Balokhali, three from Dum Dum Meah, 13 from Teknaf, seven from Sabrang and 14 from Shapuridip crossing point, he added.

Another 43 were pushed back to Burma from Balokhali land point yesterday.

The Burmese military junta is erecting fences on the Burma- Bangladesh border, where Rohingyas are forced to work in embankment construction, carrying stones and other material for fencing. They also face arbitrary arrests, torture for extortion. Besides, the army, Nasaka (Burma’s border security force) and police create problems between Rohingya villagers and the authorities to force the Rohingya community to flee them from their homes, the sources added.

According to sources, many Rohingyas are preparing to cross the Burma- Bangladesh border because of mounting persecution against the Rohingya community in Northern Arakan.

“Most of the Rohingya people, who are a Muslim minority, have been suffering and are oppressed under the Burmese military regime, socially, politically and economically. They are leaving their homeland to escape the Burmese junta’s repressive actions towards the Rohingya people,” a politician from Maungdaw said, when asked why these people were leaving their native place.
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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