Monday, 26 January 2015

Wirathu: The Pit Bull Of Myanmar Regime – OpEd

Source eurasiarview, 24 Jan


Myanmar's terrorist – Buddhist monk Wirathu is untouchable inside the country. In 2003 he was sentenced to 25 years in prison but was released in 2010 along with other political prisoners. Most keen observers knew the reason as to why this anti-Muslim zealot was freed by the regime. He was to serve as its pit bull and inciter for committing hate crimes and ethnic cleansing drives against the minority Muslims, esp. the Rohingya people that live in the Arakan (Rakhine) state of Myanmar, bordering Bangladesh.

And Wirathu continues to deliver for the regime. He has effectively become the face of Burmese Buddhism. His '969' fascist movement has led to widespread hate crimes and genocidal campaigns against the minority Muslims all across the Buddhist-dominated country, and has brutally rendered more than a million Muslims homeless. Many Burmese Muslims are risking their lives to get out of this den of hatred and intolerance, once called Burma. So frightening is the situation inside Myanmar, esp. the Rakhine state, even the Rohingya refugees that live under horrible conditions in makeshift camps inside Cox's Bazar district of Bangladesh don't want to return to their ancestral land inside the Buddhist country.

That is what Buddhist terrorism has done for its victims! And Wirathu's signature is everywhere in all such genocidal activities against the minority Muslims since his release from the prison.
In recent days, Wirathu has again shown what a monster and ugly devil he is. He had the audacity of calling the UN special envoy – Yanghee Lee – a 'whore' and a 'bitch.'

So what was Ms. Lee's crime? Well, Ms Lee, who was on a 10-day trip to the South East Asian country, said the Rohingya faced systematic discrimination. She criticized draft legislation, proposed by a coalition of nationalist Buddhist monks, which includes curbs on interfaith marriage and religious conversions.

All these proposals and calling a spade a spade were too much for the Buddhist monk Wirathu to swallow. Last Friday, he spoke at a public rally where he criticized the UN interference and personally attacked Ms Lee, according to local media.

"We have explained about the race protection law, but the bitch criticized the laws without studying them properly," he said from the stage to the crowd.

"Don't assume that you are a respectable person because of your position. For us, you are a whore." He added, "You can offer your arse (ass) to the kalars if you so wish but you are not selling off our Rakhine State."

And yet, despite world-wide condemnations for his sexist and insulting remarks, the Myanmar government has not silenced its pit bull – the foul-mouthed monk – Wirathu.

I am not surprised. As already hinted, he is their guy, doing their evil, playing their games and ethnically cleansing Muslims from the face of Myanmar – which were/are all sanctioned by the Myanmar government for decades.

The Fortify Rights, a human rights group, last year provided evidences showing that discrimination of the Rohingya Muslims was the state policy. It was premeditated and willful. It said that the government's orders, shown in leaked documents, amounted to "state policies of persecution" in Rakhine state. In a report, Fortify Rights said it had analyzed 12 government documents from 1993 to 2013, and found that government policies imposed "extensive restrictions on the basic freedoms of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar's Rakhine state". The policies restricted Rohingya's "movement, marriage, childbirth, home repairs and construction of houses of worship", it said. Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state were also prohibited from travelling between townships, or out of Rakhine, without permission, the report said.

The report said a government order stipulated that married Rohingya couples in parts of Rakhine state could not have more than two children, while another document said Rohingya had to apply for permission to marry, in what the report described as a "humiliating and financially prohibitive" process.

One document published in the report said officials should force a woman to breastfeed her child if there were doubts over whether she was the birth mother.

The restrictions against the Rohingyas have been known about for some time, but what's new for the world community back in February of 2014 was that campaigners said they had the official orders issued by the Buddhist-dominated local government in Rakhine state.

A year is approaching soon since the publication of the report from the Fortify Rights. And nothing has happened to motivate the criminal Myanmar regime and its murderous rank and file within the larger Buddhist community to change its genocidal policies against the Rohingya people, who remain the most persecuted people in our time.

Last week, the UN passed a resolution calling on Myanmar to give the Rohingya people citizenship.

It is highly unlikely that the Myanmar regime will oblige. Its pit bull – the face of Burmese Buddhism – has already opened its ugly mouth, insulting the UN, of which Myanmar remains a member state. The UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein has called on religious and political leaders in Myanmar to unequivocally condemn all forms of incitement to hatred including abhorrent public personal attack against Ms. Lee. Instead of apologizing, Wirathu has defended his personal attack on United Nations special rapporteur Yanghee Lee, saying senior monks had used similar language in the past – even at the sacred Shwedagon Pagoda.

Buddhist monks are a powerful political lobby inside Myanmar. With a general election scheduled this year I doubt any political leader would speak up and risk Wirathu and the fascist monks turning on them. It should also be noted that Buddhist monastic code, called Patimokkha, allows for use of such abusive words that were used by Wirathu.

It would be thus foolish of the world community to expect the unexpected from inside Myanmar. It has to take actions that are meaningful and that stop the extinction of the Rohingya people.
As I have said a number of times, feeding only carrots to an unruly donkey won't do the tricks. Only biting sanctions can sober the Myanmar's pariah regime and its pit bull Wirathu. When they feel the pain they will know what have contributed to their pains and hopefully, change their demonic course for the better.

Dr. Habib Siddiqui

Dr. Habib Siddiqui has a long history as a peaceful activist in an effort towards improving human rights and creating a just and equitable world. He has written extensively in the arena of humanity, global politics, social conscience and human rights since 1980, many of which have appeared in newspapers, magazines, journals and the Internet.

He has tirelessly championed the cause of the disadvantaged, the poor and the forgotten here in Americas and abroad. Commenting on his articles, others have said, "His meticulously researched essays and articles combined with real human dimensions on the plight of the displaced peoples of Rohingya in Myanmar, Chechnya, Bosnia, Kosovo and Palestine, and American Muslims in the post-9/11 era have made him a singular important intellectual offering a sane voice with counterpoints to the shrill threats of the oppressors and the powerful. He offers a fresh and insightful perspective on a whole generation of a misunderstood and displaced people with little or no voice of their own."

He has authored 11 books, five of which are now available through His latest book - Devotional Stories is published by A.S. Noordeen, Malaysia.

MSF finds worsened health conditions in Myanmar's Rakhine

Source nationmultimedia, 21 Jan

© Ye Naung/ 7 Days News, EPA
MSF finds worsened health conditions in Myanmar - © Ye Naung/ 7 Days News, EPA
Yangon (dpa) - Conditions for patients in Myanmar's western province of Rakhine have worsened since the expulsion of medical aid group Doctors Without Borders (MSF), the group said Wednesday after restarting medical clinics in the area.

The group was expelled by authorities in February after treating victims from both sides of clashes between Buddhist locals and members of the Muslim ethnic Royingya community.

"We learn that, during our suspension, just a few patients received medical care from government," said Reshma Adatia, operational adviser to MSF-Holland on Myanmar.

"It's like we have to start from a minus situation."

The group restarted primary health clinics on December 17 after talks with the government.

In the past four weeks it has treated more than 3,480 outpatients and consulted more than 550 pregnant women, MSF said on Tuesday.

MSF also provides healthcare to all ethnic groups in Shan and Kachin states as well as Yangon.

Myanmar becomes battleground of growing China-U.S. rivalry

Source Thehindhu, 23 Jan

A rebel soldier peers from an outpost south of Laiza, in Myanmar's Kachin state:Source: AFP

China's focus on deepening ties with Latin America has impacted U.S. engagement with Myanmar

China is feeling the heat in Myanmar — a country which is central to Beijing's energy security and Silk Road plans — following Washington's push to entrench itself in Nay Pyi Daw.

The website Duowei run by overseas Chinese is reporting that China's focus on deepening ties with Latin American countries, in Washington's backyard, has impacted on the decision by the United States to energise its engagement with Myanmar.

Analysts say Yunnan — China's strategic province, which is one of the starting points of President Xi Jinping's 21st century Maritime Silk Road (MSR) project — could be the ultimate target of American inroads in Myanmar. Yunnan is China's gateway to Southeast Asia, sharing common borders with Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam.

The contest for influence seems to be peaking in the run-up to the October elections in Myanmar, whose results are likely to define the country's geopolitical gradient.

According to Duowei, talks on human rights between the U.S. and Myanmar took place between January 11 and 15. But apart from the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour Tom Malinowski, who headed the delegation, two senior officials from the U.S. Pacific Command — Lieutenant General Anthony Crutchfield, as well as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for East Asia, David F. Helvey also joined the dialogue. Gen. Crutchfield also paid a visit to Myitkyina in Kachin state, the region embroiled in a civil war. A Chinese consular delegation is currently visiting Myitkyina, to ascertain whether some Chinese citizens were trapped in the Kachin state amid armed clashes.

Observers say that any deterioration of the situation following an intensification of fighting between the Myanmar's government forces and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) should worry China, as it could trigger a flood of refugees towards Yunnan, which is not far from that zone.

The website Sina Military Network is reporting that should Myanmar's army attack Pharkant, one of the main Kachin bases, which is close to the Chinese border, it could trigger refugee flows into Yunnan, a situation similar to 2009, when there was an outpouring of refugees, following an attack by government troops in the Kokang Special Region, which borders Yunnan.

Any refugee exodus can flare social tensions as the Kachin people belong to the same ethnic group as the Jingpo people who reside in the Yunnan province, and would be naturally empathetic to those displaced across the border. Instability in northern Myanmar also has economic implications as China is a major market for jade, gemstones and teak, which originates in the Kachin hills.

For China, a loss of turf in Myanmar can remove one of the hinges of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the MSR — both essential to integrate the economies of Asia and Europe, with China as the hub. China has signed an agreement to build a railroad from Myanmar's port of Kyaukpyu on the Bay of Bengal to its Yunnan province. But the implementation of the project, which would help China to evade the Malacca straits — an international trade artery in waters dominated by the U.S. — is encountering serious difficulties. These obstructions could multiply if a pro-Washington government takes charge in Nay Pyi Daw, following the elections.

Kyaukpyu is also the starting point of a gas and oil pipeline that heads towards Yunnan. Analysts say that Beijing is already wary of local protests against the project, which could multiply if an unfriendly government takes charge in Myanmar.

Friday, 16 January 2015

98 Rohingya migrants detained

Source Bangkokpost, 11 Jan

  • A Rohingya migrant receives a health examination at a detention centre in Songkhla's Sadao district. TAWATCHAI KEMGUMNERDA Rohingya migrant receives a health examination at a detention centre in Songkhla's Sadao district. TAWATCHAI KEMGUMNERD

A total of 98 Rohingya migrants, believed to have been smuggled into the country by a human-trafficking ring, were arrested at a checkpoint in Hua Sai district of Nakhon Si Thammarat province early on Sunday, according to Manager Online. 

Pol Capt Somporn Thongcheen, deputy suppression chief of Hua Sai district, said police set up the checkpoint on the Nakhon Si Thammarat-Songkhla road at Village Group 2 in tambon Sai Khao after obtaining information that a number of illegal migrants would be sent through Hua Sai district, heading for Songkhla.

At about 4am, a convoy of vehicles was spotted moving along the road toward the checkpoint. Officers were able to stop five of them, but the rest managed to escaped. The vehicles were three four-door pickup trucks, one pickup truck modified as a van, and a Toyota Fortuner.

The drivers of three vehicles fled the scene. Only two drivers were arrested. They were identified as Sawat Phadungchart, 29, of Ranong's Suksamran district, and Suthipong Chuaypat, 49, of Surat Thani's Chaiya district.

The 98 Rohingya migrants were found crammed in the five vehicles. One of them, a woman, died, probably because she had been squashed tight in a vehicle for a long time. All of the others appeared exhausted.

The Rohingya were taken to Hua Sai district police station for examination and official recording. They were then taken in small groups to Hua Sai Hospital for treatment as all had been crammed into the vehicles without food for two days.

Under initial questioning, the two drivers said they had picked up the Rohingya from a coastal area of Phangnga and were taking them to Songkhla.

Churin Khwanthong, chief of the social development and human security office of Nakhon Si Thammarat, assigned officials to interview each of the Rohingya migrants through interpreters to find out if they were victims of a human-trafficking movement.

Many local Muslim people, on learning of the arrest of the Rohingya, came to the police station to give them food and clothing. 

The dead Rohingya woman was buried by workers of the Pracha Ruamjai Foundation.

    Rohingya dies in crammed pickup truck

    Source Bangkokpost, 12 Jan


    Rohingya migrants wait to be questioned at Hua Sai police station in Nakhon Si Thammarat after they were arrested early yesterday. Nucharee Rakrun.

    She was among 98 Rohingya migrants believed to have been smuggled into the country by a human-trafficking ring. They were arrested at a checkpoint in Hua Sai district of Nakhon Si Thammarat province early... 

    The dead woman was buried by workers from the Pracha Ruamjai Foundation.

    Pol Capt Somporn Thongcheen, deputy inspector in charge of crime suppression at Hua Sai poli ce station, said the 98 migrants were found crammed into five vehicles.

    He said the woman most likely suffocated and the others appeared exhausted.
    Pol Capt Somporn said Hua Sai police set up the checkpoint on the Nakhon Si Thammarat-Songkhla road at Village Group 2 in tambon Sai Khao after obtaining information that a number of illegal migrants would pass through the district on their way to Songkhla.

    About 4am yesterday, a convoy of vehicles was spotted heading towards the checkpoint.
    Officers were able to stop five of the vehicles, but the rest escaped.

    There were three four-door pickups, one pickup modified as a van and a Toyota Fortuner.

    The drivers of three vehicles fled the scene and the other two were arrested. They were identified as Sawat Phadungchart, 29, of Ranong's Suksamran district, and Suthipong Chuaypat, 49, of Surat Thani's Chaiya district.

    The migrants found in the five vehicles were later taken to Hua Sai police station.

    They were then taken in small groups to Hua Sai Hospital for treatment. All had been travelling without food for two days, Pol Capt Somporn said.

    The two drivers said they had picked the Rohingya up from a coastal area of Phangnga and were taking them to Songkhla.
    Human trafficking rings have changed their routes from Andaman coastal provinces to provinces along the Gulf of Thailand to avoid strict suppression there, Pol Capt Somporn said.

    Churin Khwanthong, chief of the social development and human security office of Nakhon Si Thammarat, said he assigned officials to interview each migrant through interpreters to find out if they had been victims of a human-trafficking movement.

    If they were victims of human trafficking rings, authorities would find ways to deport them back to their country of origin, Mr Churin said.

    Many local Muslims came to the police station to give food and clothing to the Rohingya after learning of their arrest.

    Rohingya have fled their homes in Rakhine state in Myanmar via Thailand to Malaysia in increasing numbers recently. 


    Thursday, 8 January 2015

    Thai govt negotiating with third countries for Rohingya resettlements

    Source Nationalmultimedia, 7 Jan

    Undocumented Rohingya Muslim immigrants gather at the Immigration Detention Center during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan in Kanchanaburi province,  Thailand on July 10, 2013.© 2013 Reuters

    Deputy Prime Minister Yongyuth Yutthawong said Wednesday that the government has been negotiating with foreign governments for resettlements of Rohingya people who have been arrested and detained in Thailand.

    But Yongyuth declined to give details of the third countries. He added that the Thai government does not want to deport theRohingya for fear that they would be in danger.

    Wednesday, 7 January 2015

    'Stopping the boats' a fiction as Australia grows ever more isolationist on asylum Ben Doherty

    Source theguardian, 31 Dec 2014

    'Have the boats stopped reaching Australia?' is the wrong question to ask. A better one by which to judge the success of its policies is this: are more people safer? Or fewer?The boats have not stopped. They have stopped reaching Australia but people are still drowning in seas in our region and across the world.

    More than 350,000 asylum seekers boarded boats in 2014, the UN has found, leaving their homeland to seek protection somewhere else. Of those, 54,000 people boarded a boat in south-east Asia – Australia's "neighbourhood", in the words of the foreign minister.

    At least 540 people died on boat journeys in that neighbourhood – starved, dehydrated or beaten to a death by a crew member and thrown overboard – or drowned when their unseaworthy vessel sank.

    The great majority of those travelling in Australia's region were Rohingya, a persecuted ethnic minority from Burma, who are brutalised by their own government, denied any rights to citizenship, to education, banned from having more than two children and from work in certain industries. Regularly, Rohingyavillages are torched and their occupants forced into remote tarpaulin camps, where malnutrition and disease are rife.

    Australia has signed an agreement with Burma with the aim of "boosting Myanmar's immigration and border control" – essentially to prevent Rohingya from leaving.

    In 2014 Australia stopped 441 asylum seekers in 10 vessels, the UN says, forcing them back to the countries they last departed.

    The government regards these figures as evidence its policies are working. Thanks to boat turnbacks, offshore processing and regional resettlement, the argument goes, boats are no longer able to reach Australia. The people smugglers no longer have a product to sell: the "sugar is off the table".

    But that view fails to look over the horizon. It ignores – because Australia knows they are there – all the unseaworthy boats, and their desperate passengers, still looking for a safe port to land or dying in the seas to our north.


    Even allowing (almost certainly over-generously) that several times that figure of 441 were deterred from trying to come to Australia, this country's boat arrivals remain a tiny fraction of the world's figure.

    The number of people in our region still boarding boats bound for somewhere else is demonstration of the irrelevancy of the "stopping the boats" shibboleth. It is not a statement of policy, it is a tool of political rhetoric.

    "Have the boats stopped reaching Australia?" is the wrong question to ask. A better question by which to judge the success of Australia's asylum policies is this: are more people safer? Or fewer?

    Has the sum of protection for people who need it – against sectarian violence, against ethnic discrimination or political oppression, against arbitrary detention in a transit or destination country – increased as a result of Australian policies?

    The answer is no. There is less protection in the world for people who need it as a result of Australia's policies.

    Australia voluntarily ratified (in fact helped draft) the UN refugee convention. It willingly accepted the treaty's obligation to offer protection to those who need it. But Australia's policies now consistently place it in breach of that convention.

    In announcing the Burma partnership, the then immigration minister, Scott Morrison, proclaimed: "Assisting our regional partners in building stronger, more effective borders is a priority of the Coalition government."

    But Australia is neglecting this obligation. Australia's regional neighbours, its "partners" in addressing the asylum issue, are more overwhelmed than ever.

    Malaysia has 41,000 registered "persons of concern" and thousands more unknown. Australia and Indonesia are locked in a long-running spat over boat towbacks and Australia has announced it will not resettle any more refugees from Indonesia.

    It is, instead, looking to move refugees with claims for protection in Australia to third countries: Papua New Guinea, Nauru and Cambodia. Australia's concern, it seems, ends at the edge of its territorial waters.

    Two year-end speeches have highlighted the growing divergence between Australia and the rest of the world on the issue of asylum.

    In Geneva, the UN high commissioner for refugees, António Guterres, urged countries to work more cooperatively to address the issue of irregular migration. He said dealing with the number of displaced people could never be as simple as stopping boats and shutting borders.

    "Focusing only on border control and deterrence will not solve the problem," he said. "It is the duty of any government to ensure security and to manage immigration but these policies must be designed in a way that human lives do not end up becoming collateral damage … an exclusive focus on security and targeting criminal activity only risks making these journeys even more dangerous."

    Australia has a different attitude – a different world view – on asylum. In a speech barely reported (it was given the same day as the government's temporary protection legislation was being debated by the Senate), the head of the immigration department, Michael Pezzullo, said border protection, along with military power and diplomacy, formed the "trinity of state power" essential to any country's existence.

    While recognising it was "beyond the capacity of any one country … to tackle the global problem of refugee flows and numbers", he emphasised that Australia must, alone, "control our maritime approaches".

    "The ocean around us is the crown jewel of our border protection system, and we must do everything reasonable within law, resources and government policy to ensure that this remains the case."

    Given the long-running antagonism with Australia's most significant neighbour over boat towbacks, the actions of his department reinforce this emphasis on the unilateral over the cooperative.

    Pezzullo's speech was largely a dissertation on the continued primacy of sovereignty even in an increasingly interconnected, globalised world. It also made broader allusion to the new secretary's view of the role of immigration in Australia's development, and the country's future population. He suggested Australia had enough people.

    "When we transition from our current state to the new department next year, and commence on the path of the next phase of our journey, we should take a moment to reflect on what has been achieved since 1945. I contend that we will be able to declare the original mission of 1945 – to build the population base – to have been accomplished."

    It is a significant departure from the tone of his long-serving predecessor, Andrew Metcalfe, who urged a continued drive to populate Australia. "Our job as a department is to help build our modern Australian nation ... we have been extremely well-served by our migration programs," he said. "Economically, our migration program has been, and continues to be, a backbone to many of our industries. People migrate to succeed, not to fail."

    Ordered migration and seeking asylum are separate issues, and should not be conflated, but Australia cannot fail to recognise more people are moving now than at almost any time in history. There are more displaced people in the world –51.2 million – than at any time since the second world war: continued conflict, discordant economic opportunities, climate change – all will force more people to move, and more often.

    As the world urges closer cooperation on the issue of mass and irregular migrations, Australia grows ever more isolationist. Moving the problem over the horizon is not the same as addressing it. The boats have not stopped.

    50 Rohingya held after chase in Phang Nga, smugglers escape

    Source nationalmultimedia, 6 Jan

    More than 50 migrants, mostly Rohingya Muslims, were apprehended after a pursuit yesterday in Thailand's southern province of Phang Nga when smugglers attempting to transport them in three pick-up trucks were intercepted by civilian authorities.

    The group, six of whom are children, have been detained by police pending charges of illegal entry and repatriation, Manit Phianthong, chief of Takua Pa district, said. 

    Manit led a stakeout that intercepted the three vehicles and later pursued two of the cars, which sought initially to get away.

    Manit said they had received tip-offs from residents that illegal migrants were on their way to Malaysia, after being smuggled into Thailand via Ranong. A stakeout was set up on Sunday evening and they spotted the three cars at 3:30am. The three drivers managed to escape in the darkness, after one hit a power pole and two others headed into palm plantations and got stuck.

    Of the 53 people held, 37 are believed to be from the Rohingya minority, with the remainder from Bangladesh - a source of increasing numbers of migrants arriving on Thai shores.

    Twenty-one of the group are aged under 18 and some are as young as five, according to the chief of Takua Pa district in Phang Nga province.

    "The group were from Myanmar and Bangladesh," Manit said. "They arrived on boats and were taken in three trucks into Takua Pa before dawn on Monday" for transit through to Malaysia.

    "We had already set up checkpoints as we had information they would come," he added, explaining the trucks were forced onto a side road where the drivers fled, leaving the migrants behind.

    The migrants have been taken to be interviewed by social workers to determine if they are victims of trafficking.

    "If they are found to be victims, they will be witnesses in a human trafficking case and will be put in shelters... but if not, they will be charged with illegal entry," Manit said. 

    Thousands of Rohingya - a Muslim minority group not recognised as citizens in Myanmar - have fled deadly communal unrest in Myanmar's Rakhine state since 2012. Most have headed for mainly Muslim Malaysia.

    Myanmar views its population of roughly 800,000 Rohingya - described by the United Nations as one of the world's most persecuted minorities - as illegal Bangladeshi immigrants and denies them citizenship.

    Rights groups say the stateless migrants often fall into the hands of people-traffickers.

    They have also criticised Thailand in the past for pushing boatloads of Rohingya entering Thai waters back out to sea and for holding migrants in overcrowded facilities.

    Thailand said last year it was investigating allegations that some army officials in the kingdom were involved in the trafficking of Rohingya.

    Tuesday, 6 January 2015

    Starving Rohingya Escapees From Kyauktaw Imprisoned To The Long Term Jail

    Source RB, 2 Jan

    Buthidaung, Arakan – Eleven Rohingyas who were starving had escaped from the Kyauktaw Township. They were arrested and imprisoned to the long term jail, according to a local in Buthidaung Township of Arakan State.

    As the Rohingyas in Kyauktaw Township of Arakan State have no job opportunities, no access to medication and unable to move around in their town, eleven starving Rohingyas were in search of better a living situation and job opportunities. They left their town of Kyauktaw and travelled to Buthidaung Township, passing through various hills for four days. They got arrested on November 25, 2014 in Kin Taung village in Buthidaung Township before reaching their destination. 

    The arrestees were sued by the authorities in the name of violating movement restrictions. Among the eleven Rohingyas, nine were sentenced for five years with hard labour and the remaining two were sentenced for two years with hard labour on January 1, 2015.

    Among the arrestees, 80 year-old religious cleric Noor Bashar and 78 year-old Noor Mohammed were also included. None of them have any rights to hire a lawyer.

    The local said that the Judge at Buthidaung court is completely racist, an extremist and biased. He has been punishing Rohingyas based on his racism, not based on the law. Therefore this punishment is unjust and the higher authorities from the union government must scrutinize this judgment.

    50 Rohingya held as traffickers flee

    Source Bangkokpost, 5 Jan

    Rohingya migrants sit on a police van in southern Thailand. Pic: AP.

    Fifty Rohingya Muslims were detained the Thai traffickers who allegedly smuggled them through Thailand escaped after one of their vehicles slammed into a power pole in Phangnga province early Monday. 

    Some 30 officials and volunteers led by Takua Pa district chief Manit Pianthong  had been on guard in Takua Pa district since Sunday night following a tip that a human-trafficking gang would traverse the area to smuggle illegal Rohingya migrants en route to Malaysia. The officials hid in a roadside rubber plantation, in Bangkrak Nai village in tambon Khok Kian awaiting their arrival, Manager Online reported Monday.

    At about 3.30am, a pickup truck with a Bangkok license plate came through the area, prompting the officers and volunteers to stop the vehicle for a search. But the driver sped past and hit two vehicles parked nearby. Even then, however, the driver did not stop. Still attempting to escape, he slammed into a roadside power pole.  He managed to flee before officials could apprehend him, abandoning the damaged truck and 16 Royingya inside.

    Two other pickups also sped past before the drivers fled into a palm-tree plantation, leaving their vehicles and migrants on the road.

    A total of 50 Rohingya were rounded up. The migrants, including six children, had been smuggled from neighbouring Ranong province. Authorities have stepped up a hunt for the three drivers, who were Thais.