Monday, January 19, 2009

Rohingya genocide

Refugees towed out to the high seas in their little boats and left to die?

According to the BBC, there are corroborating estimates from Indian and Hong Kong sources that hundreds of Rohingyans -- a stateless Muslim people who live on the border of Burma and Bangladesh and face persecution from Burma's military regime -- have died this way. BBC reports:
Reports of more than 500 deaths have poured in over the weekend, from Indian officials and regional newspapers.

These suggest that more than 1,000 Rohingyas were put to sea in December. . . .

Indian officials have told reporters that they have rescued hundreds of Rohingya refugees, who are mostly Muslim and live along the border of Burma and Bangladesh.

"They said they were taken to an island off the Thai coast and beaten up before being forced into boats and pushed into the high seas," said Ranjit Narayan, a police official on India's remote Andaman and Nicobar islands.

Coast guard commander SP Sharma told AFP news agency that India had rescued 446 refugees from four boats since the end of December. Those figures are in line with those of the Sunday Morning Post, a Hong Kong newspaper, which said it had compiled a toll of 538 missing or dead.

The article goes on to note that Thai officials have admitted privately to knowing that this was happening. Predictably, perhaps, the Thai military has seized upon "national security" and "concerns about Muslim terrorists" as a convenient excuse for these atrocities. Sound familiar?

The BBC also reports that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva will meet with human rights groups to discuss the matter.

Abhisit had better do more than that.

1 comment:

  1. There is genocide going on in Burma. Some interesting links on this issue:

    Tell Me, What is Rohingya Genocide?

    A brief history of Arakan: From Kingdom to a Colony


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