Malaysia to intercept boat said to be carrying Rohingya

05 April, 2018, 00:39 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • Myanmar minister to visit Cox's Bazar Rohingya camps this month

In the meantime, he estimated Can$150 million in annual aid is needed over the next four years to provide assistance, education and supporting infrastructure in more than a dozen refugee camps in Bangladesh near the Myanmar border. The refugees, who use the firewood for cooking, have already cleared 5,000 acres of forest, Cox's Bazar deputy district administrator Mahidur Rahman said.

"The Thai and Malaysian authorities went so far as to tow boats of refugees out of their territorial waters, leaving them adrift at sea", the rights group said.

While the United Nations is now calling for a voluntary return of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh fleeing violence in Myanmar, recent reports state that there are no minimum conditions for that return.

David Morley, president of UNICEF Canada said hundreds of thousands of children are at risk and they must be educated because "educating children in times of crises is key to helping them contribute to peace".

The boat, which a UNHCR spokesman said was believed to have set sail from Rakhine State last week, stopped at an island in southern Thailand on Saturday evening after a storm.

The boat arrived off Thailand's western coast in Krabi province early Sunday due to bad weather.

He said local villagers donated food to the Rohingya and that they were "happy" with the help.

Many of those refugees are now residing in sprawling and overcrowded Bangladeshi camps that threaten to be inundated with heavy rains - potentially overwhelming sanitation facilities and leading to outbreaks of water-borne diseases - during the upcoming monsoon season, which begins in May.

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Myanmar's military has forced some 700,000 Rohingya Muslims out of Rakhine and across the border to Bangladesh since August, in a brutal crackdown which USA and United Nations officials say amounts to ethnic cleansing of the minority.

Violence in Rakhine continues and life in the refugee camps is hard as Bangladeshi authorities and aid agencies struggle to take care of the displaced population.

In May 2015, human traffickers abandoned boats at sea carrying thousands of Rohingya and Bangladeshi survivors of trafficking. But she remains a heroine inside the Buddhist-majority country that has branded the Rohingya as illegal immigrants.

Suu Kyi made only a passing reference to the crisis in Rakhine state, where her government faces mounting global condemnation for a military operation against Rohingya Muslims.

Sources say that Rae's final report will recommend that Canada declare its willingness to take in Rohingya refugees from both Myanmar and Bangladesh while encouraging other countries to do the same. "April is the end of the sailing season so we don't expect many boats now", Lewa told AFP.

The two-day event, titled "Rohingya Refugee Crisis: Towards Sustainable Solutions", ended at the Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban in Dhaka University (DU) on Tuesday.

Reported byBenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service.

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