UN High Representative Visits Myanmar Due to Rohingya Crisis

Boat carrying Rohingya refugee stops on Thai island
Myanmar minister to visit Cox's Bazar Rohingya camps this month
Author

05 April, 2018

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. In 2015, Soros visited camps for internally displaced Rohingya in Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State, in Myanmar, where he was reminded of the Jewish ghetto in Budapest during World War II.

The boat had stopped at an island in southern Thailand on Saturday after a storm, with officials there saying the refugees were heading to Malaysia. "The boat and its passengers will be handed over.to the immigration authorities".

Although Myanmar's government has publicly expressed a willingness to resettle those who have fled the country, years of systematic violence at the hands of Myanmar security forces and Buddhist mobs means that such plans have been met with widespread skepticism by Rohingya refugees.

Malaysian authorities intercepted the Rohingya boat off the northwestern island of Langkawi, after it was first spotted at the weekend off Thailand, said navy chief Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin.

"They had no connections with human trafficking syndicates", he said.

Customary worldwide law as well as Article 9 of the global Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Thailand is a state party, protects the right to liberty.

"It [the boat] was sent to Malaysia after it was repaired and its crew was supplied with food and fuel", a Thai official told BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service, on condition of anonymity.

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"The Rohingya people have already suffered serious abuses in Myanmar, and unless exceptional measures are taken, their suffering will continue in Bangladesh when the monsoon season starts this month", said George Soros, founder and chair of the Open Society Foundations.

"As far as I know, some 400 people have paid for the boat trip across the Indian Ocean to Southeast Asia countries Thailand or Malaysia", he added.

Although initially barred from entering Rakhine state, the epicentre of the Rohingya humanitarian crisis, Rae was able to travel to the region in February.

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.

In Bangladesh, the Council members planned to visit the Cox Bazaar are, which is hosting the most of the Rohingya refugees, he said.

"In line with the UNHCR study on vulnerability of the Rohingya living at the hills in Ukhia, we have identified some 25,000 most vulnerable people facing the threat of landslide, flooding and cyclones", Chowdhury told BenarNews.

Experts and dignitaries from Bangladesh and several other countries as well as different global organizations made the call in the "Dhaka Declaration" that they came up with at the end of the conference, outlining measures to find sustainable solutions to the ongoing Rohingya crisis.


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