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Mizzima: Bangladesh-Burma border ne

Bangladesh-Burma border news: Victims and Winners

February 29, 2000
Mizzima News Group

Recently, Burma border security forces arrested ten Bangladesh nationals
while catching fish in Bangladesh water territory. According to news
from the Taknef border town Fishermen Association, while 40 Bangladeshi
were catching fish in 10 mechanized boats in their territorial waters
near St. Martin Island in this month, 20 uniformed men from Burma border
security force came in a speed boat and arrested 10 working persons and
seized two motor boats. Other Mechanized boats and other fishermen fled.

The Taknaf Fishermen Association said that more than 300 Bangladesh
nationals were arrested by Burmese forces in similar situation while
fishing in Bangladesh waters during 1999. 20 of them were released in
January this year.

On the other hand, some Bangladesh nationals are freely catching fish in
the Burmese waters as they hold both countries' Engine License. They go
up to Akyab, Kyaukphu and stealthily catch fish. Many of them are
working under the protection of Akyab-based Burma Military Intelligence
No. (10).

Although there is often interrogation by Burma border patrol forces, as
they could speak Arakanese, they pretend that they are from Arakan State
and thus freely catch fish in waters of both countries.

Moreover, goods from Mon State and Arakan Delta of various kinds,
smuggled goods, like rice, cows, buffaloes, teak, utensils, are brought
at Shin Ma Phu Island (in Burma) daily by Burmese traders after bribing
Burma police and Military Intelligence or doing joint-venture with them.
The Burmese border force personnel are in the know of the smuggling
activity and usually wait in the Bay of Bengal water and seize the boats
for which 50 thousand Kyat for each boat was taxed.