Published on Tuesday, 18 June 2013 20:30
Twenty five Myanmar migrant workers, including one injured in the recent attacks in Malaysia, were greeted by friends and family at Yangon international airport after returning from Malaysia on Monday.
This is the second group of workers to be repatriated from Malaysia after a government delegation visited the country to investigate the violence against Myanmar nationals. 167 workers returned on Sunday telling the shocking accounts of their ordeals.
Tun Maw Thein was attacked in Selayang province of Malaysia by unknown assailants who stabbed him repetedly. He is currrenly in Victoria Hospital recovering from multiple injuries in the stomach and arms but is due to be released this week.
"I was working at a supermarket in Selayang. One night at about 10pm local time, I was stopped and held by three men. I requested them not to kill me as they were trying to stab me with their knives. One of them spoke in Myanmar language and told the others to kill me," said Tun Maw Thein, originally from Kyaukpadaung Township, near Mandalay.
Many of the migrant workers who were returned did not have the right documentation and some had overstayed their visas. They were only released after diplomatic efforts from an official delegation managed to get the immigration authorities to issue them documents, according to the Ayeyawady Foundation.
"Those workers were able to come back only after Malaysia's Immigration fixed documents for them. In some cases, some people who died of other unknown causes were included in the list of those died in Selayang attacks. But some died in the attacks," said Aung Myo Saw, international relations officer of the Foundation.
Many migrant workers took refuge in monastaries, feeling both violent attackers and a heavy-handed police crackdown on illegal migrant workers. Aung Ko Latt from Manadlay spent 20 days in the Kapong Monastary.
"The attackers even came into worksites. I feared. I had to run because I was not a Malaysian citizen. Most attackers are those of different religions coming from Myanmar. I ran to Kapong Monastery where I hid for 20 days," said Ko Latt.
Most of the 167 workers who have so far returned from Malaysia on June 15 said they came back because they feared for their lives in Malaysia. The Max Myanmar Group of Companies has offered to employ the returning workers depending on job requirements. The Ayeyawady Foundation has also contributed 1000 plane tickets for Myanmar citizens who wish to come back from Malaysia.
A series of attacks targeting Myanmar citizens began on May 30, leaving five dead and more than ten injured. Most of the incidents occurred in Selayang where many immigrants reside,the Daily Eleven reported.
The government has been engaged in high-profile talks with the Malaysian ambassador and sent a delegation to Malaysia to investigate the violence. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zin Yaw who accompanied the delegations has reported that just last week the Malaysian police arrested around 1000 Myanmar nationals in a security sweep against illegal immigrants. 196 Myanmar citizens were detained for having non-valid documents.
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