Em­bassy says repa­tri­a­tion can­celled, while labour min­is­ter to wel­come thou­sands home

The Myanmar Times - - News - NYAN LYNN AUNG nyan­lin­aung@mm­times.com

A PLAN to repa­tri­ate over 700 ad­di­tional Myan­mar work­ers from Malaysia has been can­celled due to lack of fund­ing, ac­cord­ing to an em­bassy state­ment.

State me­dia an­nounced on July 25 that around 700 mi­grants who were trapped in de­ten­tion cen­tres would be sent home within the month.

Yes­ter­day, the Myan­mar em­bassy in Malaysia said the plan had to be scrapped after the donor with­drew fi­nan­cial back­ing.

“The em­bassy can­not im­ple­ment the repa­tri­a­tion plan for nearly 700 de­tained Myan­mar mi­grant work­ers as pre­vi­ously ar­ranged,” the state­ment re­leased yes­ter­day said.

The em­bassy added that it had planned on repa­tri­at­ing the work­ers by Au­gust 3 after U Soe Moe Naing, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Phoe La Min trad­ing Co Ltd, pro­posed pro­vid­ing the repa­tri­a­tion costs. How­ever, the busi­ness­man re­scinded the of­fer, and the em­bassy said it could not af­ford the plan on its own.

The state­ment did not add any rea­son for the fi­nancier’s change in plans.

The Myan­mar Times could not con­tact the al­leged busi­ness owner, nor iden­tify a busi­ness with the same name yes­ter­day.

Seem­ingly un­aware of the em­bassy’s de­ba­cle, how­ever, Labour Min­is­ter U Thein Swe yes­ter­day an­nounced that the min­istry would be very soon wel­com­ing home al­most 3000 Myan­mar mi­grant work­ers cur­rently de­tained in Malaysia.

Ac­cord­ing to the labour min­istry, the repa­tri­a­tion process for those de­tained work­ers will be co­or­di­nated by the in­di­vid­ual work­ers and the rel­e­vant min­istries, but does not in­volve the gov­ern­ment or the em­bassy.

U Thein Win, a se­nior of­fi­cial from the labour and im­mi­gra­tion min­istry, con­firmed the plan to repa­tri­ate work­ers next month is still go­ing ahead, and added that 10 char­ter flights have been ar­ranged.

“The plan will start very soon and we will repa­tri­ate over 100 de­tained work­ers on each trip,” he said.

“I don’t know why the em­bassy said it had can­celled a plan to repa­tri­ate over 700 work­ers. It may be a sep­a­rate plan led by the em­bassy, but I am not sure,” he added.

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