Day: April 2, 2011
Canadian who illegally entered Burma to be prosecuted
Ron Zakreski, 62, was arrested by police on March 24 and detained in Kheenyalee Police Station. On Thursday, after a hearing in the Myawaddy Township Court, he was remanded to jail on a charge of violating the Immigration Act.
Zakreski was arrested for illegally entering Wawlay, Burma, by crossing the Moei River from Phop Phra, south of Mea Sot, according to an officer in the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA).
He was arrested after he took photographs of the location of a battle between the DKBA and the Burmese army’s Light Infantry Battalion 356.
Major Chitsayar of the DKBA Central Communications Department told Mizzima: ‘He entered Wawlay in Burma from near Mae Sot in the Thai side. As soon as he took the photos, he was arrested by the police. On the Thai side where he came from, there is a base of Thai army’.
He was detained and interrogated in the Kheenyalee Police Station near Wawlay Village for nearly a week before he appeared in the Myawaddy Township Court on Thursday.
One of Zakreski’s friends told Mizzima via e-mail that he was allowed to contact friends by telephone during his detention in the police station.
Some media erroneously reported that his name was Ronald James, sources said.
More than 50 Refugees Arrested near Thai-Malaysian Border
02 April 2011: The Malaysian Immigration has arrested more than 50 Chin refugees including women near Ipoh city of Perak State in Malaysia around 1am local time last Saturday while heading for the capital, Kuala Lumpur.
The Chin refugees, who are believed to have been smuggled out of Burma towards Malaysia via Thailand by different ‘agents’, are being held in a detention centre near the Thai border, according to Chin Refugee Committee (CRC).
“So far, we have only got a total name list of 37 detainees, with 24 males and 13 females. We have learned that they are being detained near the Thai-Malay border but are not sure if all of them are in the same detention centre or if they have been transferred somewhere else,” a CRC member in Kuala Lumpur told Chinland Guardian.
It is claimed that the Malaysian authorities have tightened the security measures along the Thai-Malay border in an effort to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the country, currently home to more than an estimated 90,000 UNHCR-registered refugees.
When asked about the responses made by the community-based organisation, the CRC member continued: “There is nothing we can do in this matter to help those being detained, apart from collecting names and giving the name list to the UNHCR.”
In another incident last Monday, the Malaysian Immigration raided a work place in Kelantan State in the north-east of Peninsular Malaysia, arresting about 12 working Chin refugees. As of today, no updates on their situation have been known yet.
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