Indonesian Embassy fails to meet fishermen arrested in Myanmar

Indonesian Embassy fails to meet fishermen arrested in Myanmar

Illustration. Acehnese fishermen unload fish caught at the Lampulo Ocean Port, Banda Aceh, Aceh. (ANTARA PHOTO/Irwansyah Putra/wsj.)

Banda Aceh (ANTARA News) - A meeting failed to be arranged with the 16 fishermen, hailing from the Indonesian Province of Aceh, that were arrested by the Myanmar authorities since last week, a spokesman stated.

Miftach Cut Adek, the deputy secretary general of Panglima Laot, an institution that oversees fishermen in Aceh, made the remarks here on Monday.

Adek revealed that in line with the information he received from the Indonesian Embassy in Yangon, the embassy`s team was unable to meet the Acehnese fishermen arrested in the country since several days.

He further remarked that the Indonesian Embassy in Yangon had assigned the protocol and consular officials along with two local staff to coordinate and meet directly with the arrested fishermen.

However, the Indonesian Embassy`s team faced difficulties, as no written agreement had been obtained from the related parties of the local authority, such as the Minister of Internal Affairs of Myanmar.

In addition, the Indonesian Embassy in Yangon had attempted to contact Myanmar`s minister of internal affairs through the protocol head of the interior minister, but no response was made available so far.

With regard to the bureaucratic difficulties faced in Myanmar, the Indonesian Embassy in Yangon had requested the Foreign Ministry to urge the Myanmar Embassy in Jakarta to help bridge the communication for the Kawthoung Authority, Myanmar, Adek stated.

"Until now, the Indonesian Embassy`s official in Yangon along with two local staff are still in Kawthoung and are making efforts to meet directly with the arrested Indonesian fishermen," he unveiled.

Earlier, 16 fishermen from Idi Village in East Aceh were reportedly detained by Myanmar`s authority at the Kawthaung Police Station, Tanintharyi Province, Myanmar, since Tuesday (Nov 6).

The 16 arrested fishermen were identified as Jamaluddin, Nurdin, Samidan, Efendi, Rahmat, Saifuddin, Nazaruddin, Syukri, Darman, Safrizal, Umar, M. Aris, Jamaluddin, Sulaiman, M. Akbar, and Paiturahman.

The ill-fated fishermen, who had set sail aboard the Bintang Jasa Motorboat from Kuala Idi, East Aceh, on October 31, 2018, were arrested for allegedly entering the waters of Myanmar without permission.

Reporting by M. Haris Setiady Agus
Editing by Bustanuddin, Sri Haryati