Monks and Prisoners Handed Over to Bangladesh

Narinjara, Dec 26, 2007

Maungdaw, Burma -- Burma border security forces, Nasaka, handed over four Bangladeshi monks and eleven prisoners to Bangladesh border security forces on Saturday, according to an official report.

The report stated that four Bangladeshi monks who were studying religious scriptures at monasteries in Burma were handed over to Bangladesh authorities at the Maungdaw-Teknaf border point.

The monks are originally from the Chittagong Hill Tract area of Bangladesh and went to Burma to study Buddhist scriptures without legal traveling documents such as passports.

The Bangladesh border authority sent the monks back to their native villages soon after Burmese authorities handed them over at the border, the report said.

At the same time, Burmese authorities also transferred eleven Bangladeshi prisoners who had been arrested in Burma in July, 2007.

According to the report, the Bangladeshi prisoners were unlawfully detained by Burmese border authorities as they were sailors on a cargo boat and had been arrested while legally transporting Bangladesh-made cement to Burma in the border trade.

Burmese military authorities in Rangoon also agreed to release 42 Bangladeshi prisoners in the near future, and the Burmese foreign ministry sent a list of the 42 prisoners names recently to the Bangladesh embassy in Rangoon.