We only got recognition from Dong himself that he is Myanmarese, but without any recognition from his country, then he is stateless
Ambon, Maluku (ANTARA) - Self-proclaimed Myanmar national, Te Mau Dong, who died by suicide at the immigration detention center of Ambon, Maluku, has not been recognized as a citizen by the Myanmar caretaker government.

There is no clarity on where Dong's body can be buried because it cannot be repatriated to Myanmar if there is no claim from the caretaker government, the head of the Class I Immigration Office at Ambon, Armand Armada Yoga Surya, said here on Thursday.

"Since November, the immigration office has written to the Embassy of the Republic of Myanmar, but until now they have not replied. We only got recognition from Dong himself that he is Myanmarese, but without any recognition from his country, then he is stateless," Surya added.

Dong initially turned himself in to the authorities in late November 2021 and asked to be repatriated to Myanmar, he informed.

During immigration checks, Dong had claimed he was born in Natale, Myanmar on July 7, 1966, and had been residing in Ambon since 2013 after escaping on a fishing boat operating in Maluku sea because he had been tortured, he added.

"He lived by himself in Laha (a village). His job was helping clean the mosque. He was quite proficient in Indonesian," Surya said.

When he arrived at the immigration office, Dong did not bring a single citizenship document and only claimed he was a Myanmar citizen, he informed.

The immigration authorities have reported Te Mau Dong's death to the Myanmar Embassy and it is expected that within 1x24 hours, there will be an answer as to where he will be buried, Surya said.

Since Dong did not hold any proof of citizenship, he had been detained at the Ambon Immigration Office, waiting for his case to be processed by the Myanmar Embassy, Surya said. However, he fell sick and ran away while he was being treated in a hospital, he added.

"When he was vomiting and had cold sweats, we immediately took him to the Army Hospital in Ambon. But he ran away, even though he was still being infused," Surya said.

Later, Dong was arrested in Piru, Seram district. On December 28, 2021, Dong was detained again and on Thursday (December 30), it was planned that he would be transferred to the Makassar Immigration Detention House, South Sulawesi, he informed.

However, the same day, Dong ended his life by hanging himself in the bathroom.

"We have not been able to ascertain what caused him to hang himself, the investigation is still being carried out by the police," Surya said.

Meanwhile, the Islands of Ambon and Lease Police said that Dong's suicide was recorded by surveillance cameras (CCTV). Police have examined the footage and sought witness statements, officials said. There were no signs of violence on his body, they added.

Dong's body was taken to Dr. Haulussy Hospital in Ambon for an examination.

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Translator: Anggoro, Kenzu T
Editor: Sri Haryati
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