Some 103 Bangladeshis returned from Myanmar on Monday.
They were the last batch of the “verified 729 Bangladeshi nationals”, rescued from the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea by Myanmar authorities in May and June, to be brought back to the country.
They were rescued amid a global outcry over Southeast Asia migration crisis triggered after hundreds of people were found on boat, drifting at sea in a bid to migrate to Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
The foreign ministry, after bringing back all nationals on Monday, said this “expeditious return” attested the “firm commitment of Bangladesh to take responsibility in irregular situation anywhere”.
“Bangladesh expects Myanmar to also manifest similar spirit by taking back verified Myanmar refugees awaiting return for over a decade in an expedited manner.”
Myanmar, after pussyfooting around for more than a decade, agreed to start taking back 2,415 of its “verified” nationals only in September last year at the foreign secretary level meeting.
But the process did not progress.
Thousands of Rohingya refugees took shelter in Bangladesh fleeing sectarian violence in Rakhine state over the decades.
Myanmar now denies their citizenship.