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* Myanmar nationals rescued by Sri Lanka Navy refuse to go back
Wed, Feb 20, 2013, 01:44 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 20, Colombo: Sri Lanka police sources say that the 32 Myanmar nationals rescued by Sri Lanka Navy have refused to go back to their home country.

The Myanmar nationals, who reportedly belong to the minority Muslim Rohingya, have said that they left the country with no hope of returning due to atrocities they faced as the Muslims that lived close to Myanmar - Bangladesh border.

Sri Lankan authorities detained 17 of the 32 rescued until they are handed over to the Myanmar government.

The rest are also to be detained in the detention center for immigration offenders in Mirihana.

Sources say that Sri Lanka has no intention to bring charges against them under immigration regulations.

The Sri Lankan Navy on Saturday (16) rescued the 32 distressed Myanmar nationals when they were drifting in a boat about 250 nautical miles off the eastern seaboard.

Sectarian violence erupted last year between Buddhist and Muslim communities in Myanmar's western state of Rakhine has forced Rohingya to migrate by boats across the seas.

** Related Story :: Nearly 100 Myanmar nationals missing, Sri Lanka police told

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