A Baby Died and Some Beaten-up While Approach for Refugee Registration at UNHCR in Malaysia


by Kerry,

A two months old baby was died from suffocation and at least 4 people were beaten-up on their approach for refugee registration at UNHCR in Malaysia.
A Burmese refugee known as Ko Kyaw said, “we heard the UNHCR has opening registration for refugees so I myself and 22 others approached to UNHCR office from midnight but at the time about a thousand people were already gathering there. By morning, only about a hundred were allowed to enter into UNHCR premise.”
UNHCR

The Sail: ‘Burmese Asylum-seekers waiting outside for registration”

Ko Kyaw further added that “UNHCR has deployed security and military staffs inside the premise and we were forced to stay outside under the sun. Around 1.30pm, a  lady screamed after she noticed her baby is not responding. It was a big crowd and sunny as well, therefore  the baby was died from suffocation in her mother chest.”
Another man who want to be unnamed said, “some people were unhappy with the moment after hearing of the baby died so they started shouting towards UNHCR office and some climbed onto the front wall of UNHCR. Suddenly, the military personnels who are deployed inside responded by beating with steaks so at least four people got injuries. A few minutes later, the police forces with trucks were interfered by waving steaks and asked all outside to leave the premise. I had to leave without registration after along wait up to 2.30pm from mid-night.”

A Brief Presentation on Rohingya


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Bill Shorten-ing the lives of Asylum Seekers : Get killed in your lands, Not on our shores


Source Riserefugee,

RISE: Refugees, Survivors and Ex-detainees, condemns the leader of the opposition Australian Labor Party (ALP), Bill Shorten, for his support of the Abbott government’s policy of pushing back refugee boats. Bill Shorten has made disingenuous claims that such a policy is required to “stop deaths at sea”.

If Mr. Shorten was genuinely concerned about deaths at sea, why was he silent when hundreds of Rohingya refugees lost their lives in the Asia Pacific region during the last few months? They were left floating in the middle of the ocean in leaky boats for several weeks while countries, including Australia and Malaysia, pushed them back into the sea.

Meanwhile, Bill Shorten and his advisors continue to peddle the dodgy Malaysian “refugee resettlement” deal pushed by the Gillard government back in 2011 as a “safe” option. This deal involved the deportation of refugees who came to Australia by boat to Malaysia, a country that has not signed the UN torture convention let alone the UN refugee convention. Stateless Rohingya refugees could not be included in the resettlement quota that was part of this deal due to a bureaucratic technicality that places them in a separate UNHCR category.

It is in Malaysia that more than 300 bodies of suspected Rohingya human trafficking victims were discovered in mass graves this year. ALP policy makers also ignore the fact that, in addition to hosting over 100,000 refugees, Malaysia also has about 90,000 stateless people in the island of Borneo; their struggle for Malaysian citizenship rights remains unresolved.

As Australian politicians trumpet their white supremacist “Stop the Boats” mantra cloaked in faux compassion for refugee deaths, they conveniently ignore Australia’s hand in the US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, one of the largest sources of forcibly displaced people in the world. This rhetoric from our politicians shroud refugee deaths on land and sea due to increasing militarisation of borders, such as Australia’s own “Operation Sovereign borders”, while weakening already inadequate humanitarian safeguards.

Australian politicians have also misappropriated the narratives of the Vietnamese refugee community by claiming that Australia’s offshore resettlement policy for Vietnamese refugees was a success because it stopped deaths at sea. However, if we look at the statistics of those fleeing Vietnam in the 1970s, many more perished fleeing over land than by boat. Vietnamese Australian author Cat Thao Nguyen who launched her memoir, “We Are Here”, with RISE this month, has stated that “about 50% of the Vietnamese refugees who fled by boat in the 1970s died, while researchers estimated that only 10% of those who fled by land survived”.

“Rohingya Situation Statement on World Refugee Day” (19 June 2015)


Source ABRO,

We, Australian Burmese Rohingya Organization (ABRO) would like to raise serious concern over ongoing humanitarian crisis of Rohingya and Kaman of Arakan state.

For decades, Rohingyas have been oppressed, victimized, terrorized and forcefully expelled from homelands by the both government authorities and extremist Rakhine people. The campaigns of ethnic cleaning have been occurred in every power transition period of 1942, 1949, 1958-60, 1967, 1977-78, 1992 and latest 2012.1

Because of they are non-Buddhist the problems uprooted again and again and remain unsolved.

1942 campaign was led by Rakhine commissioner U Kyaw Khiang and instructed by Arakan state Tha-khin leaders after British forces handed the power to him. That caused total 294 Rohingyas villages destroyed, about 100,000 Rohingyas massacred and some 80,000 Rohingya uprooted to Raungpur refugee camp of Bangladesh.

1949: was led by Burma Territorial Forces which unleashed a reign of terror in North Arakan under the director of U Kyaw Oo, the firebrand Rakhine Deputy Commissioner of Akyab district. This pogrom escalated killing of hundreds of people and burning several villages, thousands of Rohingyas were homeless and nearly 50,000 had fled to the East Pakistan (present Bangladesh) and India. .

1958-60: 27 villages of Maungdaw northern side of Arakan State were uprooted by army led by Bo Tin Kyaw and drove the villagers into the then East Pakistan (present Bangladesh) and India. Later, the government reached the agreement to repatriate Rohigyas those fled However, those did manage to return were considered as illegal Pakistani immigrants and the properties and lands of all these refugees have been confiscated.

1967: began with slaughtering some Rohingyas captured outside and looting properties and seizing lands Southern Arakan.

1978: program was wide scope in Arakan and it degenerated into brutal abuses followed by arbitrary prosecutions, violences including rapes and vandalizing by both the army and local Rakhines.

Within 3 months over 300,000 Rohingyas crossed into Bangladesh where about 200,000 Rohingyas took shelter in makeshift camps erected by Bangladeshi government.

Most of them about 200,000 Rohingyans were forcefully repatriated after 9 months of arrival under the bilateral agreement singed on 9 July 1978. Half of those remained in Bangladesh travelled for other countries. The rest about 40,000 mostly women and children were died from illness and severe malnutrition after rations were cut to compel them to leave the refugee camps.

Because of bilateral agreement which did not meet intl standard, Rohingyas had to languish again without land and recognition of their status, as well as, various restrictions engaged upon their return. They had been randomly settled within Maungdaw township and desperately languished there.

By 1983, Gwa, Taungup, Tandwe and Ponnagyuan townships defined as muslim-free-zones by the government. It is tantamount to official killing license giving to Rakhines. Since then, muslims those captured in these regions are judged by Rakhine people. In this manner, hundred of muslims those found and captured in these regions were took over by Rakhine people and brutally killed.

1991: operation was introduced with inhumane physical abuses, executions, rapes, tortures and prosecutions including forced labour to build barracks and bamboo fences, new roads and bridges, dig environmental ponds and scout sentininel.

From May 1991 to the mid of 1992, about 270,000 Rohingya refugees were hosted in 20 refugee camps of Bangladesh.

Under bilateral agreement was signed between GoM and GoB, forceful deportation started with the title of repatriation from 1992 September regardless of the refugees’ dignity, rights and recognition guarantee.

The first group of 15,000 Rohingyans repatriated by Dec 1992 and dozens were also killed in clashes for military unit’s harshly intervention in deportation.

Second time, the UNHCR achieved agreement with GoB and repatriated 35,000 Rohingyans by Nov 1993 that enabled to close 3 camps.

Despite repatriated refugees turned back to Bangladesh, UNHCR upheld similar task and directly made agreement with GoM in order to repatriate large scale of remaining 190,000 Rohingya refugees with the date line- Dec 1995 and proclaimed that the situation in Arakan is conductive to return. As well as, Relief operations were suspended to compel refugees to leave the camps.

Most of repatriated Rohingya refugees turned back the second time into Bangladesh but they never approach to refugee camp for fear of similar forceful deportation..

From 8th June 2012, Total destruction across (13) different townships of Arakan state, reached at (97) mosques, about (23,000) houses from (95) villages. Death toll over 12,000 people and nearly 200,000 people displaced and number of arbitrary detention reached more than a thousand mainly from Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Sittwe townships. Despite the Thein Sein government of the so call ‘civilian’ has characterized the events as ‘communal violence, the government’s involvement and contributions into the crisis are very obvious;

  • Imposing Curfew and Order on to Rohingyas and Kamans and allowing Rakhine people freely to carry out various attacks, looting goods and cash and setting fires.
  • Allowing security forces to shoot the Rohingyas and Kamans, and not arresting a single armed Rakhine who are aggressively coming to attacks into Rohingya villages.
  • Seizing lands of Rohingyas which were burnt down and disposing them into concentration camps.
  • Blocking aid, rations and compelling to die from starvation and attacking aid workers.
  • Denial of the rights to have rights such as medicare, education, relocation, movement.
  • Thein Sein government asking the United Nation to relocate Rohingya in a third country.
  • Fabricating false news: the local Burmese news groups and anti-Rohingya bloggers reporting the way they like and playing a major role of bias through inciting anti-Rohingya propaganda and portraying Rohingyas as they want and providing reverse information.
  • Forcing to accept foreigner identity in the mid of humanitarian crisis. Rakhine RNDP party openly declared the bounty reward for every dead Rohingya. Forcing to sign the documents that describe as illegal immigrants that have no claim to Burmese citizenship.

There are total about 200,000 Rohingya, Kaman and Rakhine muslims people involving about 75,000 children displaced (of whom about 175,000) have been forced into concentration camps and the rest about a million are also in appalling conditions under confinement and facing constant abuses from June 2012. Displaced people about (110,000) are in 13 to 15 camps of outside Sittwe (Akyab) city and the rest about (65,000) those from other 8 regions are in 26 camps where aid-workers unreachable. They ending up in the modern day concentration camps and enduring with confinement, constant abuses with lack of medi-care and food supply that causes to reach the death toll 7 to 20 people mostly children and elderly people per month.

The government’s massive contribution into violences in Rakhine State that later spread to other parts of Burma with the lead of ex-prisoner monk Wirathu.

1) Six areas of Mandalay regions attacked, destroyed about 3,500 houses plus several mosques and displaced about 15,000 Muslims and killing more than a hundred, including mass killing of 36 mostly teenagers in the small town of Meiktila on 20 Mar 2013.

2) Attacks took placed across 8 townships of Pegu Regions but later most of those displaced were returned to their locations.

3) Attacks in Sagaing Regions displaced about 320 people after a mob burned homes on 24 August 2013.

4) Scattered attacks took placed in Yangon regions of Hlaing Tharyar, South Dagon, Tharkaytha townships. Arson attacks in Pebedan Madarasa killed 8 teachers and 28 students on 21 Mar 2013.

5) In Magwe regions: A mosque, houses and belongings of 10 Muslims were demolished in Kanma Township on 13th April 2012.

6) In Shan State: The attacks took place in Lashio destroyed the Myoma Mosque and estimated 5 Muslims have died and 30 houses were burnt down on the following day of Meiktila riot on 20 Mar 2013.

7) Kachin state: Attacks in Saitaung of Phakant township destroyed a few muslims’ houses and shops in the evening of about 2ndMay 2013 .

8) Chin state: A village of 17 families live in Paletwa township were also attacked by Rakhine gangs came from Rakhine state as a result of it’s situated along the Kaladen River connected to Arkan.

Barbaric actions of exclusion from national rights and Stripping of citizenship, looting properties and possessions, demolishing of historical existences and expulsion from their home lands by setting fire of houses, killing arbitrary and pushing into concentration camps and separation, forcing to become foreigner identity and driving into the sea, are very clear signs of genocide. The world’s mechanism and its leaders must react immediately to save these people from such terror state. Without removal of dictatorships particularly from central posts and the establishment of rights base constitution, it is not marching for democracy nor, transition but big illusion one.

Practically, it is not the 1982-citizenship laws that stripped off citizenship but the authority who are intentionally reluctant to access the Rohingya’s historical existence and ancestral evidence that prove primary evidence earlier than prior to 1824 and also not allowing to recourse the citizenship under new citizenship act. The fact is that after British occupation of Arakan in1824, the repatriated Rohingya war victims of 1784 and 1794 Burman king invasion of Arkan, were miscounted as British era settlers by central rulers.

Like in 1978 and 1992, after drove out of Rohingyans and Kamans from their ancestral homelands, the authorities tactically started collection of data and those forcefully repatriated under bilateral agreement were branded as Bengali so it could be accounted by exclusion of Rohingya into national census as a creation official evidence for national population history. Yet many new Burman scholars are relying on such fake resources.

Following intl pressures, the authorities are also forcing the Rohingyas and Kamans to accept unusual identity which is different to usual citizenship card. This unusual card is different colour and has not description of race and religion and considering not a citizen. When the Rohingya in the camp refused to sign the documents, the authority threatened the Rohingya and Kaman victims that no signing would no aid ever made it through the blockades again including aid from foreign organizations. Therefore, the citizenship verification process will not be free and fair unless monitor by international community.

It been more than 3 years on, the Rohingyas and Kamans of Arakan state (western Burma) are totally excluded from Burma and fell into the worst part of tragic like that happen over history; “APARTHEID, SLAVERY & RACISM, EXTERMINATION”..

In many location, the Rakhine authorities just allow to pass the limited food items to them so only those unwanted food items were distributed. Aid workers are yet facing various restrictions and instant threats for providing aid and distribution of rations to Rohingya and Kaman victims.

UN agencies and donor countries must ensure the food items to reach into the hands of victims. Meanwhile, the rations more than 100 bags of rice and other items with the brand mark of ‘TIKA’ donated by Turkey government were seized during Rakhine Insurgent members captured on 22nd of April 2015.2

They can’t wait any longer in such terror state and so about 10% of Rohingya and Kaman people involving women and kids have been fled into neighbouring countries from the beginning of violence, numbered about hundred thousand. Mostly fled into Bangladesh that includes about 2,000 of recent arrivals in Thai, Malaysia and Indonesian waters. We can’t figure how many have been captured and killed within Burma territory, how many lost life in the sea, how many trapped by human traffickers, how many still fleeing and where they are.

Recent raid on people smugglers in Southern Thailand and Northern Malaysia discovered the nearly 185 dead bodies mostly belong to Rohingya from several locations.

Today, Rohingya become Burma’s first refugees languished as unwanted in transit countries, numbering about; 40,000 Rohingyas including many in various slave labours in Thailand, 50,000 in Malaysia, more than 4,000 in Indonesia,

21 according to JRS3, more than 300,000 Rohingya refugees including about 40,000 living in UNHCR runs overcrowded squalid refugee camps of Kutupalong and Nayapara in southern district of Cox’s Bazar, about 1,500 Rohingya displaced in Hyderabad city came to appeared in India4, and about 500,000 arrived during 1942, 1978, 1992 and the majority living in Mecca’s slums of (Naqqasha and Kudai) and Jeddah of Saudi Arabia.

At the Oslo Conference to End Myanmar’s Persecution of Rohingyas held at the Norwegian Nobel Institute on 26 May 2015, has clearly indicated the elements of genocide.5

Under the objective to transform a complete Buddhism state, the country rulers, their authorities and majority of the people jointly terrorising the Rohingyans and Kamans and expelling from homelands. This must be stopped immediately.

Since the destruction, eradication and isolation and ban on livelihood and aid distribution of Rohingya victims are taking place, there is in need of militarily intervention and also for security and safety of the people it is required the UN to deploy peace keeping force and to take step to establish an independent state within Arkan state for these people.

Despite the central government has quieten the 55 million of people for five decades and yet instant arrest taking place for those impose threat, the central government does not prevent ongoing vigilant attacks by radical monks and Buddhist people against muslims by picking up of a hoax news or created one and the authorities are readily permitting for various protests against UN agencies and racial instigation propaganda.

Restriction and arrest of foreign journalists and corporal punishment of those speak to intl media or tourists. Activists, writers including non-Rohingyans like venerable monk Pinnyasiha and writter Htin Lin Oo who support Rohingya or speaking against racism, were jailed and ban from publicly speaking.

Surprisingly again in neighbouring countries, people those fled from genocide have been pushed back, sentenced on their landing, letting to fall into the hand of traffickers. These are in deed a breaches of Customary Laws and non-refoulement Laws.

Specially, the country Bangladesh has put the ban on aid distribution of Rohingya refugees in the camps and laws enforcement onto those live in rural areas. As well as, the arrests of individual aid workers and welfare workers. Moreover, the Bangladeshi government has planning to isolate Rohingya refugees by transferring to remote island. Such actions are inhumane and unacceptable even in religion norms. When the country Bangladesh itself rely on intl aid, it should not cut off of the other’ aid.

We also appeal the UNHCR in Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia to open the door for its refugees and recognize their plights, as well as, it must provide basic assistance and support for vulnerable groups such as elderly people, kids, single father/mother.

Historically, Burma’s minorities are continued to face vigilant attacks, extra-judicial killings, sexual abuses, arbitrary arrests and detention, inhumane tortures in every power transition period. The other hand, waging wars against Kachin, Karen, Shan and Chin minorities with disregard of cease-fire agreement.

Kachin state: By February 2013, internally displaced persons about 35,000 in Myitkyina (two camps in Jan Mai Kaung) and Waingmaw (Thargaya and Lavoa camps). Another about 40,000displaced are in KIA/KIO-controlled areas. (while people fleeing into China is not counted into.)

Chin state: Chin refugees seeking refuge in Delhi-India from the past decades and now living in tents left about 8,500 people.

Shan state: There are about 125,000 Shan displaced living along China border and some of them crossed into China. Many people still escaping months ago from clashes between the armed groups and government soldiers.

Karen and Mon states: More than 120,000 Karen, Kareni (Kayah) and some Mon people displaced internally.

Another about 200,000 mainly Karen, Karenni and Mon refugees took refuge in Thai-Burma border refugee camps and most of them been there from the past three decades. By the end of year 2013, about 80,000 refugees are still living in 10 refugee camps.

There are ongoing ethnic cleansing pogroms with the action of genocide and deprivation of rights. These are in deed a humanitarian disaster directly contributed by central government.

The current Rohingya genocide in Burma is a case in which different forces in society and politics have converged to create, basically, a living hell for this particular group.

Majority of Buddhist people believe Burma only belongs to them and democracy should only be available to them. Burmese rulers have continuously committing crimes against humanity and it has been over 3 years on, the government keeps the Arakan crisis alive in order to divert people’ attention from democratization and election.

Historically, such disaster could not ease by political dialogue or diplomatic engagement or simple sanctions. Despite aid and assistance very important for daily sustainable, and have been provided from around the world including Australia, such assistance is not a factor to solve the long running genocide of Rohingya.

Base on facts finding from the past genocide fields, what happening to Rohingya is a virtue sign of genocide and crime against humanity. This should not be compromised by opening of a few illusion progress such as releasing political prisoners, media freedom chapter.

We, ABRO therefore demand the following points;

1) United Nation to mandate to put effective resolution onto Burma to ease the crisis as soon as possible end persecution against minorities.

2) Britain, France, United States and its allies countries to use veto power to take appropriate action on to Burma rulers and military generals who committed crime against humanity and genocide.

3) OIC and its leaders, ASEAN leader countries to continuously provide assistance on the ground in Arkan and rescue Rohingya boat-people from the sea.

4) United Nation to protectorate the areas of where Rohingya and Kaman people living and deploy International Peace Keeping Forces on the ground and to emerge for establishment of an Independent State within Arakan State.

5) United Nation agencies to exercise its power in distribution of aid to displaced victims of Rohingyans and Kamans on the ground and monitor citizenship verification process.

6) UNCHR to open its registration for Rohingya refugee boat-people and recognize them as refugee and include equal number in resettlement quota.

7) We also urge International Crisis Group to forfeit the Top Award prize given to Thein Sein in the end of 2012.

Australia as a member of UNSC and signatory country to 1951 Refugee Convention, we Rohingya people in Australia kindly appeal to the Australian government to take part in taking action against Burma and its rulers and to give a hand to rescue Rohingya people from genocide and those from the sea.

This is the statement of question about 3 million displaced people who suffer every moment for years on and their dreadful situation could not be enough to express by words. We therefore hopping that the world leaders would save our Rohingya and Kaman people from ongoing genocide and other displaced people of Chin, Kachin, Karen and Shan from other parts of Burma.

1http://www.ndphr.net/p/populationconcern-there-are_17.html

2http://www.ndphr.net/2015/04/the-international-communitys-donation.html

3

4

5Myanmar’s Genocide of Rohingya, Quintana, Penny Green and Zarni, at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo, Norway on 26 May 2015

Bruneian brings aid to Rohingya


Source Asiaone, 19 June

Hj Roslan Hj Mustafa (L) met with ERCAM’s chairman, Mohd Rafiq Khairul Bashar (R), who shared ERCAM’s financial struggles in supporting the centre and the children.

Photo: Hj Roslan Hj Mustafa

The Brunei Times/ANN | Rasidah Hab | Friday, Jun 19, 2015

Friday, Jun 19, 2015

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – A local man came home with greater humility and sense of humanity upon his return from handing over donations for Rohingya refugees in Malaysia.

On June 10, Hj Roslan Hj Mustafa, a former paramedic, and his nephew travelled to Malaysia, where some 30,000 Rohingya refugees are taking refuge under the auspices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The two returned to Brunei a week later.

"We have social media groups amongst families members and friends, where we agreed to contribute what we can to those in need," he said in an interview with The Brunei Times.

The contribution was only collected from family members and close friends. The donation was not open to the public.

The contribution comprised 14 cartons of baby formula, feeding bottles and women sanitary products. Hj Roslan said the items were specifically requested by Islamic Relief Malaysia (IRM) as they were in need of these items.

The cash donation was also used to buy food items.

"We used the money collected to purchase the essential items in shops in Kedah," he said.

The UN and world human rights groups consider the Rohingya the most vulnerable and persecuted community in the world. Millions of Rohingya refugees have fled to neighbouring countries following a crackdown by the Myanmar government.

Hj Roslan said after watching the news of the conditions and sufferings that the Rohingya Muslims had to endure, he could not stand idle and let it happen without doing anything.

"That is why I represented my family and close friends to contribute what we can. We collaborated with IRM to execute our mission, however our contribution was small if compared to the assistance that they need," he said.

Hj Roslan arrived in Selangor on June 12 and there he meet up with representatives from the IRM.

The group left for Kedah after Maghrib prayers and arrived at their hotel around 1am. Hj Roslan expressed his gratitude to IRM for providing him with the logistics throughout his stay in Kedah.

On June 14, they went to Belantik Immigration Depot in Kedah which housed the Rohingyas, to hand over the donations. He wanted to see for himself that the amanah (trust) entrusted to him by all the donors reached those who needed it.

"I did not get to meet them (the Rohingya) while at the Belantik Immigration Depot due to security reasons. I cannot imagine the challenges that they faced (to come here)," he said.

During his visit, Hj Roslan also had the opportunity to visit one of the schools set up especially for children of Rohingya refugees.

Ethnic Rohingya Committee of Arakan Malaysia (ERCAM) set up the Knowledge Garden Learning Centre in 2013 to enable the children to receive proper education.

The centre is situated at Seri Kembanga, Selangor Darul Ehsan and houses 110 students. They are given a formal education and learned Bahasa Malaysia, English, Mathematics and Science and Religious Studies.

The school has five full time teachers. The children come from areas such as Seri Kembangan, Serdang, Kajang and Cheras.

At the centre, Hj Roslan met with ERCAM’s chairman, Mohd Rafiq Khairul Bashar who shared their financial struggles in supporting the centre and the children.

Hj Roslan said many more children could not afford to go to the centre due to distance and financial problems. At the centre, he took the opportunity to mingle with the children.

"They have five classes in one place. The youngest student is four years old and the oldest is 12 years old. The centre is also home to eight orphans. It is facing financial problems and relies on donation to sustain its daily operations."

After seeing for himself the condition of the centre, Hj Roslan raised the possibilities of future donation plans for the centre. He said it was a motivation for them to help and the support from his family and friends so far had been more than what he imagined.

In February, Hj Roslan also helped handover donations from families and friends for flood victims in Malaysia.

74 Burmese migrants found lost, starving in Thai forest


Source DVB, 11 May

Some of the 74 Burmese migrants who were left by smugglers in the central Thai forest without food. (PHOTO: DVB)


Some of the 74 Burmese migrants who were left by smugglers in the central Thai forest without food. (PHOTO: DVB)

More than 70 Burmese nationals, apparently smuggled into Thailand by human traffickers, have been found starving in the forest in the country’s central Chumphon province.

Thai officials who rescued the migrants said they were lost and had not eaten for three days.

A resident in the village of Nai Ngon in Chumphon District, some 475 kilometres south of Bangkok and situated close to the Burmese port town of Ranong, said 28 migrants were found in the woods next to the village on the morning on 8 May and 46 more were found on 9 May.

“On Friday morning, six of them came to the village and indicated that they were starving so we collected some food and gave it to them,” she said.

According to the villager, the migrants told them they were smuggled into Thailand overland by four traffickers carrying automatic rifles. They said they each paid 7,000 baht (over US$200) to be smuggled from Ranong to Malaysia, but had travelled for three days by foot before they were left behind in the woods with no food.

Some 50 local Thai police officers have since been deployed to search for the migrant’s hideout.

The 74 migrants are reported to be between the ages of 12 and 44, and include six women. Thai officials said four of the women say they were raped by the traffickers, and that a 32-year-old women and her child had been abducted by the gang.

4,000 Fishermen Enslaved In Indonesian Islands, Forced To Fish For U.S. Seafood Dinners


Source Inquisitr, 28 March

image: http://cdn.inquisitr.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Fisher-665×385.jpeg

4,000 fishermen enslaved in remote Indonesian islands

Nearly 4,000 fishermen are stranded on remote Indonesian islands and many have been made into slaves and forced to work for the seafood industry serving American dinner tables, according to an investigation by the Associated Press.

An AP special report released earlier this week said many of the fishermen were foreigners from Myanmar who migrated to Thailand for work but have now found themselves captured as slaves, beaten and forced to work for their captors.

One former slave spoke to the AP, which is not releasing the names of the men for their safety.

“This is the worst moment in our life right now. It is even worse than being in hell. We have to work every day to survive… There is no hope for us anymore.”

The slaves are kept in small cages made of wood and metal barely large enough to lie down in, and they live on a few bites of rice and curry a day, according to NPR.

Fish caught by the slaves are mixed with others at processing plants and can make its way into the American food chain and be found at local grocery stores across the country. It could be included in pet food or turn up as fine dining in restaurants, according to the New York Post.

This happens because little attention is paid to the labor market in the world’s seafood industry.

The fishermen stranded on the remote Indonesian islands who aren’t slaves have been abandoned for years or decades and forced to work for food or pocket change to survive.

The number of stranded fishermen abandoned on these islands by their boat captains has dramatically increased after Indonesia passed a moratorium on foreign fishing five months ago, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The men are forced to work as fishermen in some of the world’s best fishing grounds, as dockworkers loading and unloading the day’s catch and in the timber industry cutting and sawing logs.

“Our body is here but our mind is at home. If it was possible to walk back home, we would do it right away. Our lives have no more value than a dog.”

The AP spent a year conducting this special report and worked with the International Organization for Migration as well as Indonesia’s new Fisheries Minister, who pledged to crack down on the practice.

The AP focused its attention on the island of Benjina, but trapped, stranded, and enslaved fisherman can be found in many of Indonesia’s remote islands. Saturday, 21 fishermen were rescued from the island of Ambon after being abused by human traffickers, according to Pattaya Mail.

Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/1962867/4000-fishermen-enslaved-in-indonesian-islands-forced-to-fish-for-us-seafood-dinners/#53GkTZvgfzMtsELq.99

Burmese navy to help repatriate 100 jailed migrants from Malaysia


Source DVB, 22 March

File photo of migrants detained in Malaysia. (Amnesty International)


File photo of migrants detained in Malaysia. (Amnesty International)

More than 100 migrant workers arrested and detained in Malaysia are to be repatriated by the Burmese navy, a government statement said on Friday.

The migrants will be brought home on 25 March aboard the Maha Thiha Thura, which has been participating in an international maritime and airshow at Langkawi, Malaysia, from 17- 21 March.

Most of the 100-plus migrants were arrested for visa overstay and have been detained in prison for around three months, said Thiha Kyaw, a source close to the Burmese embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

UPP detains 76 illegal immigrants at Bukit Kayu Hitam


Source thestar, 16 Dec

Noor Mohamed (sitting right) questioning one of the Myanmar national detained at Bukit Kayu Hitam.

Noor Mohamed (sitting right) questioning one of the Myanmar national detained at Bukit Kayu Hitam.

BUKIT KAYU HITAM: The Anti-Smuggling Unit (UPP) detained 76 Myanmar illegal immigrants in a raid on an unoccupied house in Kampung Padang Satu, here Tuesday.

Kedah UPP deputy commander (operation) Noor Mohamed Shaik Alauddin said a team raided the house at 9am after receiving information from the public.

On inspection, 65 male and seven female did not possess travel documents while four other men had expired travel documents.

The Myanmar illegali mmigrants were between 17 to 61 years old.

They were brought from Johor Baharu, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Kulim by a syndicate run by a Myanmar who stayed here for some time.

He said each illegal immigrant was charged between RM500 and RM950 to be smuggled out of the country.

"The Myanmar immigrants usually stay illegally in this country between two to three years. They want to get out to escape the massive operation against illegals," he told a press conference at the UPP Office, here.

Noor Mohamed said the illegal immigrants were gathered in the house since last night after fetched by the syndicate in Changlun after arrival by bus.

The 76 Myanmar illegals were detained under Section 6(1)(c) of Immigration Act 1959/63 (amended 2002) while four others were detained under Section 15 (1) (c) of Immigration Act 1959/63 (amended 2002) for overstaying in the country.

The case will be handed over to the Immigration Department for futher action.

The UPP detained 274 illegal immigrants in Kedah from Jan 1 to Dec 15 and most of them were Myanmar nationals. – Bernama

Refugees angry with UNHCR over paucity of help


Source Asianage, 17 Sept

Rohingya children at Madanpur KhadarRohingya children at Madanpur Khadar

Foreign refugees in India have a long list of complaints against the UNHCR on various grounds such as issuance of I-cards, financial assistance, differential treatment between refugees and neglect.

On refugees, the UNHCR and the Indian government have a division of labour, says the UNHCR chief of mission in India, Dominik Bartsch.

Rohingyas are critical of the agency for its better treatment of Chins (Myanmarese Christians who are relatively well-off in Delhi) vis-à-vis health, education and financial aid.

Somalians pillory it for corruption and neglect. Kassim, a Somalian blogger and freelance journalist, claims that the UNHCR has been a mute spectator to the privations of his compatriots, who are starving to death for want of financial assistance in India.

At Madanpur Khadar in New Delhi, almost no Rohingya family get any subsistence allowance, reveals a UNHRC source. Initially, they were given around Rs 1,000-2,000 per month, depending on their vulnerability, the source adds.

On the issue of subsistence allowance, Mr Bartsch notes that around 10-20 per cent of the UNHCR-assisted refugees get monetary help. “You have to recognise that we have not been able to provide support in a wholesome manner to all the refugees. We are only able to provide direct assistance to those who are most vulnerable. It is a small minority, around 10-20 per cent, who receive direct assistance from the UNHCR and get something tangible. For the majority, our support is around livelihoods, including vocational training with our partners to prepare refugees for jobs.”

When asked about differential treatment between Chins and Rohingyas, Mr Bartsch says the term was an emotive one and denied discrimination by the UNHCR.

“Chins and Rohingyas are living in different circumstances. The former have been living in India for long; hence, they have a strong community network. When it comes to Rohingyas, many of them are recent arrivals and they are not all residing in Delhi. We have not been able to reach all of them in the various sites outside Delhi,” he explained.

Hitting out at the UNHCR, a Rohingya mocks, “If the UNHCR is not able to reach out to non-Delhi refugees how can they claim to cover the whole world?”

Rohingyas also claim that the agency does nothing to prevent human trafficking, bonded-labour and prostitution.

“Our compatriots are languishing in Kolkata jails. If the (refugee) agency strives to get them freed, the jail authorities will listen to it; but it has no will-power in this regard,” complains a Rohingya source.

Another UNHCR official reveals that six Rohingyas girls (aged 18-21) were trafficked four months ago for sex trade in Delhi, of which two died during a gangrape. The version could not be authenticated independently.

Similar modern-day slavery cases are rampant in India. “When Rohingya slaves from far-flung areas come to Delhi for UNHCR cards, they tell their harrowing tales to the agency. It means that the UNHCR is familiar with sex trade and slavery cases. But it does nothing to improve the situation,” the source added.

Another thorny issue is related to visa overstay penalties on refugees. “How can Indian government charge us for visa overstay especially when we are uncertain about our next meal?” is an oft-repeated complaint.

“Legislation is needed to define the status of refugees and make it compatible with the Foreigner’s Act, which is in black and white: A person has either arrived legally in the country or illegally; there is no provision for someone to explain why he was obliged to run away,” notes Mr Bartsch.

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