Burma Navy Opens Fire on Illegal Fishing Trawlers, Killing One

By Htun Htun 8 February 2017

RANGOON — The Burma Navy opened fired on illegal fishing trawlers that trespassed on Burma’s territorial waters in Arakan State’s Naf River, which separates Burma and Bangladesh, on Monday, according to the State Counselor’s Office.

The Navy vessel on patrol sent a motorboat after it spotted eight fishing trawlers between Maungdaw Township’s Kanyin and Nyaung creeks. Two shots were fired when the trawlers aggressively approached the motorboat, said U Tin Maung Swe, secretary of the Arakan State government.

“We are taking actions transparently in line with the law. We have to shoot and arrest as necessary if somebody trespasses on our territory,” U Tin Maung Swe told The Irrawaddy.

Burma authorities sent a letter to Bangladeshi authorities on Monday, calling on the Bangladeshi border guard force to prevent illegal fishing trawlers from entering Burma’s territory, and condemning the trespassing.

State-run newspapers reported on Wednesday that Bangladeshi authorities said that one person was killed and two others were injured in the shooting.

U Zaw Htay, deputy director general of the President’s Office, told The Irrawaddy, “We will respond in line with the law if Bangladesh complains. But, they have not complained yet.”