News / Asia

Thailand to Deport Rohingya Muslim Asylum Seekers

TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Thai authorities say Rohingya Muslim refugees allegedly fleeing sectarian violence and persecution in western Burma must be sent back to their homeland.

The 73 migrants, including women and children, were found drifiting in a small, overcrowded boat off the Thai resort town of Phuket, well short of their final destination of Malaysia.

Thai authorities intercepted the boat, which had been at sea for 13 days, and provided the refugees with food and supplies on Tuesday. But local media reported Wednesday they have been arrested and ordered to return to Burma by land.

Sunai Phasuk, a senior researcher with Human Rights Watch, says that Thailand should suspend any plan to deport the refugees until the United Nations refugee agency has a chance to determine whether they have legitimate claims for protection.

He says Thai authorities, who are reluctant to absorb migrant workers from neighboring countries, must come up with a better policy for dealing with boat people.

"For the first time, Thai authorities have intercepted a boat, filled up not with young Rohingya men seeking work in Malaysia, but families with young children and women," Sunai said. "They are traveling together claiming they are escaping persecution, human rights violations, and violence in their homeland."

Thai authorities do not accept boat people, but instead give them supplies to continue their often dangerous journeys to their final destination.

The result is often deadly. In 2008 and 2009, hundreds of Muslim Rohingya refugees are believed to have died after being turned away by Thailand.

Sunai says the problem is not going away, and that Thailand and other Southeast Asian nations must come up with a new policy to provide protection in coordination with U.N. agencies.

"We want Thailand to come up with a clear policy that recognizes Thailand's international obligations to protect asylum seekers and refugees," he said. "And in this case it is very clear that political violence, communal conflicts and human rights violations in Burma's Arakan state are getting worse and worse, and we expect there will be more Rohingya families traveling by sea in order to seek refuge in Southeast Asia."

The latest group of asylum seekers say there were headed for Malaysia, which has become a common destination for Rohingya refugees. On Sunday, about 450 Rohingya landed in Malaysia after a boat journey that left one person dead.

Rohingya are fleeing Burma's western Rakhine, or Arakan, state, where an outbreak of violence in recent months has killed dozens and displaced hundreds of thousands.

Rights groups accuse Burma's government of systematic persecution against members of the ethnic group, who are considered to be illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Haji:Mohammed Hassan from: ipoh perak,Malaysia
January 03, 2013 10:37 AM
This peoples are from arakan state of Myanmer{origin of Rohingya)
May be some body mixed from Bangla desh.Exsurely many many Bangla deshi coming to Malaysia by boat and they say they are Rohingya too.therefore we are requeisting to UNHCR Please select them befoure do anything.They bangla peoples selling name of Rohingya.if they peoples are from arakan(Rohingya) so please safe them on humanitarian ground.


by: Nguyen Tan Lon from: Hanoi
January 02, 2013 3:17 PM
The cruel countries on earth Thailand and Burma. Why you all have no mercy to let the Rohingya survive as Human Beings? You all from Thailand and Burma always claim as Buddhists but your mind is wicked=Mara.


by: lstmohican from: USA
January 02, 2013 8:25 AM
The neighboring country west of Rakhine state in Myanmar is Bangladesh, an Islamic country less than the size of Iowa but with a population of 160 million. During 1970 and 1971 Bangladesh independence war, the Pakistan army and their sympathizers committed genocide resulting in 10 million Bangladeshis seeking refuge in neighboring countries including Rakhine state with a population of 3 million. As far back as 1975, the then Bangladesh Ambassador to Myanmar Khwaja Mohammed Kaiser admitted that "there were upward of 1/2 million Bangalee (Bangladeshi) trespassers in Arakan (Rakhine state) whom the Burmese (Myanmar) had some right to eject.

He had implored the Burmese authorities not to press this issue during Bangladesh's present troubles [COUP of August and November 1975] and had been pleased that the Burmese had not taken advantage of his country's misfortune in this respect.” Recently, Bangladeshi, CNN and other news media have published numerous reports of Bengalis from Bangladesh illegally migrating eastwards by sea and land. Refer to CNN report of Nov 1, 2012, Khabar South Asia of Dec 24, 2012 and UNBConnect of Dec 27, 2012. Once they cross the border, they identify themselves as Rohingya to gain international sympathy and unquestioning acceptance by the media. The Government of Bangladesh has identified over 70 different Islamic terrorists groups including Islamic Rohingya Terrorists. In addition, approximately 12 to 17 million Bangladeshi immigrants have come to India illegally since the 1950s.


by: D Johnston from: Thailand
January 02, 2013 7:19 AM
These people really should be returned to Bangladesh as it is their true homeland.

In Response

by: Moh from: Uk
January 10, 2013 5:39 PM
Humans relocated to have a better life .....u people should return to u paradise .....when u found in any country other than u shit ass smelly county.

In Response

by: helena from: melbourne
January 03, 2013 7:31 AM
sorry i reported a comment and i meant to post one sorry please disregard. my point was that as these poeple are aubviously economic migrants en route to Australia through malaysia they should be turned back at the first instance it is well recognised by all of the relif agencies that the people who are most in need of refugee status are so poor they could never afford to pay the people traffickers.... they live meal to meal and day to day.. it is ofetn people with some means and status that can afford these large sums.. good on Thialand turn them back..

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid