Boat carrying dozens of Rohingya arrives in Langkawi - Navy chief

Todd Singleton
April 5, 2018

At least 670,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar and settled in makeshift camps across the border in Bangladesh since August 2017, according to the latest estimates from the United Nations.

The Myanmar government has agreed to allow the long-delayed vi00sit and the details are being finalised he told reporters on Monday. "We have made necessary arrangements for his trip to see the camps in Cox's Bazar".

Canada's special envoy to Myanmar, Bob Rae, is calling on the federal government to increase its budget for the humanitarian crisis that has displaced more than 671,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees and to work with like-minded countries to continue to target human-rights abusers with economic sanctions.

Chris Lewa of the Arakan Project, an independent research and advocacy group, said Sunday's stopover of a fishing boat with 56 people at an island in Thailand's Krabi province is probably not a harbinger of more soon to come, because the weather will soon turn too rough for such crossings.

"However, until today there is no detection or signs of the boat's entry", Haji Rozali said. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who fled previous waves of persecution are already living in the district. However, Fortify Rights documented other arrivals-by-sea of Rohingya refugees in both Malaysia and Thailand in 2018, including a boat that arrived in Thailand in February 2018. Transnational human trafficking syndicates working in concert with various authorities operated numerous boats.

He said council members hope to visit Myanmar's western Rakhine state, where about 700,000 Rohingyas lived before fleeing to Bangladesh to escape a brutal military counterinsurgency campaign - and thousands still remain.

In Bangkok on Monday, human rights advocacy group Fortify Rights urged Thailand and Malaysia to provide protection for Rohingya refugees in accordance with worldwide law and standards.

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The boat had stopped at an island in southern Thailand on Saturday after a storm, with officials there saying the refugees were heading for Malaysia.

He said local villagers donated food to the Rohingya and that they were "happy" with the help. "Peoples' lives are at stake", said Matthew Smith from Fortify Rights. "Governments in this region need to show leadership and follow their legal obligations to protect refugees rather than send them to potential death sentences at sea".

Siyeed Alam, chairman of Rohingya Association in Thailand, said his association was seeking ways to reach the group, but Thai authorities had not allowed them to be contacted as of yesterday.

Aye is expected to meet Foreign Minister A.H. Mahmood Ali and Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, foreign ministry officials told BenarNews.

The 39-page report was noticeably silent on another major issue: how to address Suu Kyi, Myanmar's de facto political leader who has been widely criticized for not speaking out against the atrocities being committed against the Rohingya.

Rohingya in the refugee camps and the worldwide community have called for guarantees of a safe return and establishment of protected areas in Rakhine before repatriation begins.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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