Wednesday, 03 June 2020

Maungdaw, Arakan State:  Nasaka Burma’s Border Security Force deported 12 more Bangladeshi monks on October 25, in the aftermath of the violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, according to an aide of Nasaka.

Some 200 Bangladeshi monks are also waiting to return home following the unrest in Burma. Most of the monks crossed from Teknaf in Cox's Bazaar into Burma for religious studies without taking any valid documents, Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) said.

With the 12 monks, the number of deported has risen to 27 as 15 others were sent back in two phases early this month, the BDR added.

"The 12 monks were sent back along the River Naf after BDR received a message from Burmese immigration officials," according to Lt. Col Shawkat Imam, commanding officer of BDR in Teknaf.

The monks crossed the Naf by boat. BDR allowed them to enter the country after confirming their identity. Their relatives came to receive them, the Commander added.

Lt. Col Shawkat said they were keeping a close watch on the border areas and continuing regular patrol to ensure security and check infiltration. If the identity of any person cannot be confirmed, he will be pushed back.

BDR sources said a number of monks from Chittagong and Chittagong Hill districts went to Burma earlier for religious studies.

Ajit Ranjan Barua, president of Chittagong Chapter of Bangladesh Buddhist Association, said the monks mainly from Chittagong region went to Burma for religious studies and training.

Most of them have crossed the border as it is difficult to get visas from Burma, the Barua more said.

About 100 Bangladeshi monks were staying in Sri Lanka while 50 others are in Thailand for study and training purposes, he also said.

Earlier some Bangladeshi monks crossed the Burma-Bangladesh border illegally while some monks were arrested by BDR but later they were released after verification.

In Maungdaw and Akyab townships, there is no permission to receive any outsider monk in monasteries and public prayers are not allowed to carry any bag into monasteries. The authorities check all the people who wish to enter the monasteries and make tight security. The Thatingyut festival of Buddhist was controlled by the authorities, if they find Bangladeshi monks and others, the concerned Sayadaw (monks) will be punished severely. The festival was allowed to be celebrated till 7 p.m. only, but before they celebrated till mid-night, according to a monk of Maungdaw.