Burma Times Desk Report: July 16, 2015
The navy has discovered 102 ‘Bangladeshi’ migrants on an island in the southern part of the country, according to state media.
The latest batch of migrants was found between June 30 and July 12, according to the Global New Light of Myanmar.
The government claims the boat people are all economic migrants from Bangladesh, and not Muslims fleeing persecution from Arakan state. It has gone into extraordinary lengths to back up this claim, which independent analysts consider ridiculous.
When the fist ship was rescued, all the Rohingya migrants were whisked away and only the migrants thought to be Bangladeshis were presented to the international media.
The affair was discovered and caused much embarrassment to the government.
Later the government pressurised their Bangladeshi counterparts to accept more than five hundred boat people as their nationals. This was set as a demand for returning a Bangladesh soldier captured from that country’s territory in revenge for a yaba heist. Bangladesh did not accept the offer.
Now it seems that another group of Bangladeshis have been discovered by the Burmese navy. The claim will be taken sceptically by Bangladesh and much of the international community.