Monday 29 June 2015

Saeed Ajmal raises £30,000 for Rohingya refugees

Source Dawn, 29 June

KARACHI: Pakistan's spin maestro Saeed Ajmal is in England playing county cricket to regain his lost rhythm with a remodeled action, but along with it the 37-year-old spinner is putting in special efforts to raise funds for displaced Rohingya refugees.

A fund-raising event for the Rohingya refugees was held in Manchester on Saturday, where Ajmal, who is playing for Worcestershire, was invited as the chief guest.

Read: Pakistan to provide $5m food grant to Rohingya camps

Saj Sadiq, editor of cricket portal PakPassion, who was present at the event, tweeted: "With the support [and] efforts of Saeed Ajmal, £30,000 was raised yesterday at the charity event for Rohingya refugees."

With the support & efforts of Saeed Ajmal, £30,000 was raised yesterday at the charity event for Rohingya refugees

Embedded image permalink
5:29 AM - 28 Jun 2015 

In recent years, sectarian violence and a thicket of discriminatory laws against the Rohingya in Buddhist-majority Myanmar have sparked the region's largest exodus of boat-people since the Vietnam War.

Read: In Asian seas, Rohingya migrants have nowhere to land

According to the United Nations, more than 25,000 people, including many Rohingya but also economic migrants from Bangladesh, made the dangerous sea journey south from the Bay of Bengal between January and March this year.

An estimated 1.3 million Rohingya scratch out an existence in Rakhine, one of Myanmar's poorest states — tens of thousands are trapped in displacement camps, with conditions outside often worse.

Open Letter Calling for the Muslim World to Watch Over Phuket's Rohingya Trial

Letter from Alan Morison,

Open Letter to the 57 Nations of the Organisation for Islamic Co-operation

Dear OIC Member Nations,

The OIC has shown great concern for the Rohingya of Burma, who continue to be driven into the sea by religious intolerance and hate. 

For seven years, our small news outlet, Phuketwan, has been covering the exodus of these boatpeople through Thailand, spotlighting the human trafficking and the complicity of Thai officials.

At the weekend, my colleague Chutima Sidasathian, and I learned that the Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayuth Chan-o-cha, has rejected a suggestion that an ill-advised criminal defamation action brought against us by the Royal Thai Navy should be withdrawn.

The trial will now be going ahead at Phuket Provincial Court from July 14-16.

We would greatly appreciate it if the OIC could possibly send an official observer. We are also encouraging widespread media coverage of this trial in all 57 OIC member nations.

It's vital that the international community is represented to see how whistleblowers are treated in Thailand. We have done our best to reveal to the world Thailand's dirtiest secret.

The pages of Phuketwan contain more than 1400 articles that reference ''Rohingya.''

In all modesty, we can say that since 2008, our coverage of the Rohingya exodus has been a key to raising international awareness of the plight of these desperate people.

Recent exposure of the graves of luckless trafficking victims in Thailand and the boats bobbing offshore has revealed more fully the horrors that Phuketwan has been accurately recording now for seven years.

During that time, the Royal Thai Navy, along with the Burmese Navy, has been attempting to maintain silence about what was happening to the Rohingya, and to the Bangladeshis who more recently joined them in the boats.

In December 2013, in an attempt to end Phuketwan's coverage of this shocking breach of international human rights standards, one or two officers misusing the good name of the Royal Thai Navy sued me, Chutima Sidasathian and Phuketwan's parent company, under Thailand's repressive criminal defamation and Computer Crimes Act laws.

As the world now knows, all of the thousands of victims who were murdered, raped, tortured and extorted in fleeing Burma and Bangladesh are Muslims.

For this reason, we believe it is vital that the eyes of the Islamic world turn towards this trial on Phuket.

Without the efforts of the dedicated reporters at Phuketwan, this story of constant persecution and maltreatment in Burma and Thailand would never have been told.

We are simply reporters who have been dedicated to doing our job.

The Royal Thai Navy chose to sue us over republication of a single paragraph from a Reuters' news agency series that soon after won a prestigious Pulitzer Prize.

We know the Royal Thai Navy wants to silence Phuketwan because Reuters and other organisations that reproduced the exact same paragraph have not been charged.

The Prime Minister of Thailand and the Thai government have been called upon by the United Nations, the European Union, Human Rights Watch, the International Commission of Jurists, Reporters Without Borders, the Committee to Protect Journalists and many other organisations to drop this misguided action.

We face a maximum of seven years in jail, just for doing our jobs. As we have said, the Royal Thai Navy will need to kill us to stop us reporting on the Rohingya issue.

Now, with the Thai government rejecting pleas for commonsense to be restored, we seek the help of the OIC in observing and reporting on our trial.

Alan Morison,

30 More Bodies Of Human Trafficking Victims Found In Wang Kelian Buried Today

Source Bernama, 29 June

POKOK SENA, June 29 (Bernama) -- The second batch of 30 remains of human trafficking victims, believed to be Rohingya migrants from Myanmar, found at Bukit Wang Burma, Wang Kelian last month, were buried at a cemetery in Kampung Tualang today.

Kedah Islamic Religious Department (JAIK) director Datuk Noh Dahya said 28 of the victims were men and they were buried en masse in a grave, while the bodies of two women were laid to rest in an adjacent grave.

The burial started at 3.50 am and ended at 5.30 am, he added.

He said there were still 55 remains of human trafficking victims undergoing post mortem process at the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital, with 40 of them expected to be buried next week.

Last week, JAIK had buried 21 bodies of human trafficking victims which were found in Wang Kelian.

The burial was carried out by JAIK and the National Security Council with the assistance of local villagers, the police and members of the Kedah Rohingya Welfare Association.

Sunday 28 June 2015

Myanmar govt officials involved in smuggling of Rohingyas: US

Source Dawn, 26 June

The Newspaper's Correspondent — Published about 2 hours ago

US State Department said Myanmar's governemnt and security officials smuggle thousands of Rohingyas, often for profit. —Reuters/File
US State Department said Myanmar's governemnt and security officials smuggle thousands of Rohingyas, often for profit. —Reuters/File

WASHINGTON: The US State Department informed Congress on Thursday that Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims continue to face extrajudicial killings, deaths in police custody, rape, arbitrary detentions, torture and mistreatment in detention.

The department's country report on human rights also told US lawmakers that government and security officials, acting in conjunction with Rakhine and Rohingya criminal elements, smuggle thousands of Rohingyas out of the country, often for profit.

In Rakhine, the native state of the Rohingya, authorities require Muslims to obtain a permit to marry, a step not required of others.

Rohingya Muslims also overwhelmingly faced systematic denial of due process and fair trial rights, according to the report.

In July last year, the government disbanded the NaSaKa, a notorious security force responsible for gross human rights violations against Muslims. But security or government officials have not yet been investigated or held to account.

Prison conditions in Rakhine were among the worst, with reports of hundreds of Rohingya arbitrarily detained and denied due process, widespread mistreatment of detainees, and dozens of deaths in custody.

Authorities in Rakhine state made no meaningful efforts to help Rohingya and other Muslims displaced by violence to return to their homes and continued to enforce disproportionate restrictions on their movement, the report said.

As a result, tens of thousands of internally displaced persons remained confined in camps and were stopped by security forces from leaving in order to gain access to livelihood, markets, food, places of worship, and other services.

This policy further entrenched the increasingly permanent segregation of the Rohingya and Rakhine communities.

Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2015

Thursday 25 June 2015

John Abraham inspired by refugees' tales

Source Timesofindia, 23 June

John Abraham inspired by refugees' tales
The actor-producer insists that his films will be commercial but will send out strong messages. 

READ: ​Anees Bazmee has signed John Abraham for another comedy

Celebrity ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), John Abraham, on Saturday lunched with Barlin, a Somalian refugee who is now an Indian social worker, Sri Lankan refugees Divya and her sister, currently residing in Tamil Nadu, the Rohingas from Myanmar and a few Afghani and Iranian refugees. 

And the 42-year-old actor-producer is inspired to make a film about refugees in India because cinema is the best voice to express their plight. "India is a great country and we are accommodating as many people as we can. But Divya and her sister still had to seek special permission from the Tamil Nadu government to come and visit me today. The youth needs to be aware of such permissions that refugees need to seek," he pointed out, addressing the little-known fact that refugees need special documentation.

John, who turned producer with Vicky Donor, is very clear that he wants to make mainstream cinema. "My films too will be in the commercial format but I want to get a message across," he insists.

Back in 2006, John and Kabir Khan had shot a film in Afghanistan soon after the Taliban had been overthrown by the ISAF, a group of countries headed by the US. "While I was there, I saw a lot of Afghanis leave their country and flee to neighbouring countries like India. Since, then I've been inspired to make real-life stories," he reveals. His last production, Madras Cafe, explored the Sri Lankan crises, the assassination of our late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, and the plight of refugees in India today.

"As an actor and producer, I will only do films that are close to my heart, film which carry a lot of weight and are meaningful," he asserts.

Tuesday 23 June 2015

Rohingya boy Ajis safe with adoptive parents in KL

Source Channelnewsasia, 23 June

Four-year-old Rohingya boy Ajis, who was sold for RM2,000 (about US$530) and smuggled across the border into Malaysia, is safe and well with his adoptive parents.

    Rohingya boy Mohamad Ajis. (Photo: Melissa Goh)

    KUALA LUMPUR: The story of four-year-old Rohingya boy Ajis, who miraculously turned up at the UNHCR office in Kuala Lumpur in May, has stunned many.

    Ajis who was travelling with his mother survived a treacherous journey across the Andaman Sea and mosquito-infested jungles in the Thai-Malaysia border, but sadly his mother did not.

    She died in one of transit camps run by smugglers, now known as death camps. After her death, Ajis was sold for RM2,000 (about US$530) and smuggled across the border into Malaysia.

    Now living in the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur with his adoptive parents, Ajis looked well. It was a relief because the recent disappearance of Ajis, who was said to have gone to stay with relatives, had triggered alarm bells.

    Aegile Fernandez, director of Tenaganita Women's Force, said: "We hear of so many stories of this kind of border sales - children brought all the way from Myanmar and kept at the border being sold to someone with the highest bidding.

    "Where did they get the money to buy the child? Survival is so tough in Malaysia - they are not allowed to work and they hardly have much money. Is the child to be taken to be resold? We don't know. It does happen because a lot of families are looking for children (they can adopt)."

    But Ajis' adoptive father Hamid Hussein said he would never give Ajis away or trade him for money.

    "I will not give him to anyone, he will stay with me until he grows up," said Hamid, a Rohingya refugee registered with the UNHCR.

    Hamid and his wife Fatimah already have two girls of their own, but Hamid is glad to be able to put a roof over their heads. However, working between odd jobs of driving garbage trucks, the money he earned is not going to be enough, he said.

    "With the money I earn, it's hard to support my family. All my money goes to children's expenses," he added,

    His priority, he said, is to get Ajis registered with UNHCR as soon as possible so that he is accorded some protection as a refugee and receive medical benefits and access to schooling. 

    Sunday 21 June 2015

    “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 2nd May 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.



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

    Japan offers $3.5M to help Rohingya boat people

    Source thedailystar, 20 June

    This picture taken on June 15, 2015 shows Myanmar Rohingya people waiting shortly after arriving at new temporary shelters for Rohingyas in Blang Adoe, North Aceh. AFP PHOTO / CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN :Agence France Presse

    Tokyo: Japan on Saturday offered a $3.5 million to help the Rohingya boat people who have fled Myanmar where they faced severe discrimination.

    Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Japan remained committed to helping national reconciliation efforts on various fronts in Asia, including between Myanmar's government and "ethnic minority groups".

    "With regard to non-regular immigrants, including women and children trying to cross the Indian Ocean, Japan has decided to extend $3.5 million" through global agencies such as the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, he said in a public address.

    The money will go to providing food and shelter as well as to fund data analysis of their maritime movements, the foreign ministry said.

    The plight of the persecuted and impoverished Rohingya has drawn international attention as thousands of them and Bangladeshi migrants cram into boats and struggle desperately to reach other Southeast Asian countries.

    The Muslim Rohingya complain of systematic discrimination and mistreatment by Myanmar's Buddhist-majority government, which refuses to even recognise them as citizens.

    Saturday 20 June 2015

    Myanmar's Genocide of Rohingya, Quintana, Penny Green and Zarni

    by Admin,

    Video:Myanmar's Genocide of Rohingya, Quintana, Penny Green and Zarni


    Myanmar's Genocide of Rohingya, Quintana, Penny Green and Zarni

    Published on Jun 19, 2015

    At the Oslo Conference to End Myanmar's Persecution of Rohingyas held at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo, Norway on 26 May 2015, Former UN Special Rapporteur (2008-2014) Tomas Ojea Quintana Professor Penny Green and Conference organizer and Co-Chair Dr Maung Zarni discussed in depth the reason why Myanmar's policies of persecution amounts to GENOCIDE.

    Thursday 18 June 2015

    In Thai detention centers, female migrants remain in limbo

    Source Aljazeera, 17 June

    Thai authorities have refused to grant refugee status to hundreds of Rohingya who arrived through human traffickers.

    PHUKET, Thailand — Roshida was languishing in a squalid displaced people's camp in western Myanmar when an unfamiliar man offered her a job in a nearby city. Unemployed with two children, she immediately agreed. The next day, she was packed into the belly of a cargo ship anchored in the Bay of Bengal.

    "That's when I realized I had been sold," says Roshida, a 25-year-old ethnic Rohingya who only uses one name. She hasn't heard from either of her young children since.

    She found herself in an airless room full of desperate captives, including mothers clutching infants and frightened teenagers crying for their parents. Some had been abducted, she says, while others had been promised jobs or arranged marriages in Malaysia. The boat lingered for several weeks near Rakhine state in western Myanmar, gathering about 400 people, mostly other Rohingya Muslims — a persecuted ethnic group from Myanmar — and Bangladeshis, before setting sail for Thailand. Passengers each received one cup of water and a scoop of rice daily. A Bangladeshi man who begged for water one morning was beaten to death and tossed overboard.

    "When I was on the boat, I was crying. I missed my kids," recalls Roshida, now staying at a shelter in southern Thailand. "They told me, 'If you cry, I will beat you and throw your body into the sea.'"

    She is one of thousands of people exploited by a flourishing human trafficking network that transports desperate and often unwilling Rohingyas and Bangladeshis to Malaysia through Thailand. Over 25,000 people have embarked on the perilous journey since the start of this year, with hundreds dying en route, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Most new arrivals are held in transit camps in Thailand's Ranong and Phang Nga provinces before they are stuffed into trucks heading for the border with Malaysia.

    For several weeks, Roshida was confined to a collapsing bamboo hut draped in muddy tarps somewhere in the jungles of Thailand's Songkhla province. Once there, the brokers demanded $1,600 to release her in Malaysia.

    hut, trafficking camp, Phang Nga province, Thailand.

    A hut in an abandoned trafficking camp in Phang Nga province, Thailand. Hanna Hindstrom

    "I told them, 'You lied to me! I don't have any money.' So they burned me with cigarettes, and they beat me," she says, lifting her dress to reveal dark scars on her feet.

    In less than a month, three people died from disease, she says, and women became the targets of verbal abuse and sexual violence.

    "Smugglers would take young girls who looked attractive away into the forest nearby," she says. ""[The girls] refused to talk about it when they came back."

    Fearing for her life, Roshida tried to escape three times. Twice she was captured by locals and returned to her traffickers. Each time she was sent back, they shackled her and beat her with wooden rods. On her third attempt, she ran into a Thai couple on a rubber plantation. They called the police.

    But her ordeal didn't end there. Instead of helping her, Thai authorities accused her of entering the country illegally and jailed her for three months. In April she was finally transferred to a shelter for women and children. Now she is anxiously waiting for news about her children back in Sittwe, Myanmar.

    Monitoring groups say a growing number of boat arrivals are being trafficked, coerced or misled by unscrupulous brokers. Members of Myanmar's persecuted Rohingya minority, who are denied citizenship and heavily ostracized in the Buddhist-majority country, are easy targets. Over 140,000 people are confined to official displacement camps in Rakhine, where they are unable to travel freely or secure decent work. Nearly 10 percent of the roughly 1 million Rohingya in Myanmar are estimated to have fled since a surge in violence between Buddhists and Muslims began in 2012.

    "I owned a small shop in Sittwe, but everything was burned," says Roshida. "My husband turned to alcohol. I lost everything — my house, my business."

    Treating victims as criminals

    In 2014 the U.S. State Department downgraded Thailand to the lowest possible rating in its annual "Trafficking in Persons"report, citing accounts of Thai police and army officials cooperating with smuggling rings. Though the Thai government has shown little sympathy for boat people, choosing to treat new arrivals as criminals rather than victims or refugees, officials escalated their crackdown on human traffickers in May after uncovering a patchwork of mass graves scattered across southern Thailand.

    Since then, Thailand has arrested about 80 people, including police officers and Interior Ministry personnel, on suspicion of complicity with human trafficking. But only one army official was among them, raising concerns that the Thai military junta — which seized power in a coup last year — is reluctant to target its brass. No one has been arrested in Phang Nga, a hub for trafficking, even though local volunteers are maintaining a 24-hour road checkpoint along a crucial transit route.

    Thailand's crackdown has had a disastrous effect on victims. Thousands of people were cast adrift in the Andaman Sea after traffickers abandoned their ships and fled into hiding. Still, Thailand has steadfastly refused to open its borders to unwanted arrivals, opting to push boats back from shore. If they make it to land, men, who constitute the majority of boat people, are held in detention centers or prisons, while women, minors and those identified as trafficking survivors are mostly housed in shelters. Until March, Rohingyas were routinely deported to Myanmar. About 500 to 700 Rohingyas are estimated to remain in Thailand.

    Andaman, Rohingya

    Rohingya migrants swim to collect food supplies dropped by a Thai army helicopter after they jumped from a boat drifting in Thai waters off the southern island of Koh Lipe in the Andaman Sea. Christophe Archambault / AFP / Getty Images

     Trafficking victims have more rights than people who have been smuggled, according to Matthew Smith, the executive director at Fortify Rights, which is why "certain governments have been loath to consider these abuses in the context of trafficking." The problem, he said, is particularly acute in Thailand, where "authorities have consistently underestimated the number of survivors of trafficking."

    Yet the Thai government insists that trafficking victims are processed in accordance with international standards. The governor of Phang Nga, Prayoon Rattanaseri, says that his province is a "role model" for victim protection and has identified over 150 trafficking survivors since last year. He blames language barriers and a dearth of Rohingya interpreters for any mistakes in registering victims.

    At Roshida's shelter, only two of the 79 people there have been classified as trafficking victims. Both are Bangladeshi. One of them is Hassan, a 22-year-old from Dhaka who was drugged and abducted in Teknaf in southern Bangladesh last year. He recently testified in Thailand's first major case against human traffickers operating in the Andaman Sea. Unlike many other arrivals, Hassan has been able to earn a modest living working on a nearby rubber plantation.

    Stuck in the middle

    In late May, Thailand hosted a regional meeting to address the burgeoning boat crisis, with officials pledging to boosthumanitarian access for the UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). But critics say Thailand, which has not signed the U.N. refugee convention, has been reluctant to fulfill its promises. U.N. agencies still have only restricted access to Rohingya boat arrivals, many of whom are kept in cramped detention cells without access to trauma counselors, proper health care or refugee status determination.

    "[Thailand] must allow UNHCR to have unconditional access to do refugee status determination interviews and recognize the results," says Phil Robertson, the deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "Second, it should permit IOM to be directly involved in trafficking victim identification assessments and provide appropriate care for all those recognized as victims."

    <img src="/content/ajam/articles/2015/6/17/In-thai-detention-centers-migrants-stuck-in-limbo/_jcr_content/mainpar/textimage_0/image.adapt.480.low.thailand_refugees.jpg" alt="Andaman Sea, Rohingya, Thailand" class="">

    Andaman Sea, Rohingya, Thailand

    Rohingya migrants pass food supplies dropped by a Thai army helicopter to others aboard a boat drifting in Thai waters off the Andaman Sea.Christophe Archambault / AFP / Getty Images

     Only a "small handful" of Rohingyas qualify for resettlement abroad, according to Vivian Tan, the UNHCR's spokeswoman in Bangkok, and these are the most vulnerable refugees, such as unaccompanied minors and women with young children. One of them is Abdul, a 13-year-old who was abducted from his dinghy near Sittwe last November.

    "If I had wings, I would fly home right now," says Abdul, who has been stateless his entire life. He is now staying at a shelter in southern Thailand.

    The United States has urged Myanmar to provide citizenship and rights to the Rohingya in order to stem the exodus. But officials have refused to budge, insisting that the Rohingyas arrived illegally from Bangladesh.

    As a result, the vast majority of Rohingyas trapped in Thailand want to continue their journeys to Malaysia, fueling concerns that they will end up back in the clutches of smugglers and traffickers. Several women in Thai shelters are simply waiting in the hope that international agencies can help them join their husbands in Malaysia, with no idea of what to do if they can't. It is not uncommon for children and women to simply vanish from shelters despite being shortlisted for resettlement in the United States.

    Although Thailand's crackdown has forced most smugglers into hiding, activists say it is only a matter of time before they return.

    "The risk [of retrafficking] is certainly there," says Tan. "We've been quite concerned about reports of brokers approaching women and children in shelters. When we talk to survivors in Malaysia and Indonesia, we've learned that people who manage to leave detention centers [in Thailand] usually end up back in the arms of smugglers."

    Roshida's only hope is that she can reach the United States and her children can join her.

    "If I head back to Rakhine, I head back to death," she says. "There's no point going back there."

    Saturday 13 June 2015

    Dr M calls for Myanmar to be expelled from Asean

    Source Thestar, 12 June

    - Bernama

    - Bernama

    KUALA LUMPUR:  It would be better for Myanmar to be excluded from Asean as genocide is unacceptable, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

    The former prime minister urged Asean as well as the United Nations to take action against Myanmar.

    "Countries like this only give a bad name to us. So, if you want to commit genocide, leave Asean," he said.

    "Myanmar has not responded to requests to be more humane, instead they continue merciless killing of people, and this should not be the case," he said while delivering his keynote speech at the International Conference themed 'Plight of the Rohingya,  crime against humanity'.

    He added that the United Nations should be asked to do something about it.

    "Although they are not capable of doing anything, we need to push for it. I even wrote a letter to Aung Sang Suu Kyi on this matter, but there has been no response, so the fate of the people there needs to be defended from the outside," he said.

    While emphasising that the boat people situation would not have existed if not for Myanmar, Dr Mahathir added that the 'no interference' policy has limitations which have now been breached by Myanmar.

    "If it is a matter of political matters, then yes, it is acceptable, but there should be a limit to what constitutes non-interference.

    " Although it is internal, the killing of people should not be tolerated, they should not have the right to treat people that way," he said, adding that Malaysia just stood by and did nothing when two million people were killed in Cambodia.

    "These people have been a part of the country for 800 years,"  said Dr Mahathir, adding that the law prohibits countries from expelling people.

    He added that he had a lot of respect for Buddhism because it preached peace.

    "But here, these peace-loving people are perpetrating horrible atrocities. They burn homes and kill people.

    "They are committing something that is prohibited by their religion or any religion for that matter," he said.

    Tales of modern slavery from Rohingya who survived death camps (video)

    Source Bankok Post, 11 June

    Rohingya victims of the death camps in Perlis and Thailand relating tales of horror on their captivity when met at a small shophouse in Jalan Bukit Kemuning, Selayang, recently. — TRP pic by Arif Kartono

    KUALA LUMPUR, June 11, 2015:

    The Rakyat Post met several Rohingya victims of the death camps in Perlis and Thailand who managed to secure their freedom from their captives.

    The men, women and many children, were crammed into a small shophouse in Jalan Bukit Kemuning, Selayang, but were in good spirits.

    One of the death camp victims, Aminah Khatu, 27, said she left Myanmar because of the ongoing fighting there.

    "Before I left, they started burning down our homes. People kept saying 'go to Malaysia, there people live happily'. This is why I got on the boat.

    "I got on a small boat for a few days before being transferred to a ferry where we were left at sea for two months. Later on, we were transferred into a small boat to reach Thailand

    "I was in the Thailand jungles for a month."

    She said the conditions in the camp in the jungle were terrible and the ground they were placed on was always watery.

    "My children felt sick and one of them passed away there after he fell ill.

    "I called my husband who was in KL at that time and told him that one of our children had passed away so he must get us out of the camp quick."

    She said her husband told her that he did not have money to do so immediately.

    "My husband told me he did not have enough money, but he later managed to gather RM5,000 by borrowing it from his friends.

    "I passed the money to the agent and he took it, but he still refused to let us go. He cheated us and we remained in the camp for another 15 days.

    "After that, my husband had to find another RM6,000 and paid that sum to them before they released us."

    She said her experience at the camp was horrible and they fed them very little.

    "We had nothing there. They fed us a little rice and curry and a little jelly.

    "When someone died, they just threw the body in the jungle. Those who were very sickly were also thrown into the jungle to die."

    She hoped that help will find them now that they are in Kuala Lumpur.

    "I hope we can get some help because we have nothing at all and I can't even feed my kids."

    Rohingya children in Malaysia looking for a better future. — TRP pic by Arif Kartono
    Rohingya children in Malaysia looking for a better future. — TRP pic by Arif Kartono

    Aminah reached Malaysia with only 4 children after losing one of her sons (7 years), who passed away at the camp in Thailand. She is now with her two daughters (6 and 2 years) and two sons (5 and 4 years).

    Khleta Bahasir, 23, who was one of the victims that stayed at the death camps in Thailand and Malaysia, said she got out of Myanmar by boat. After three days, she was transferred to a ferry.

    The journey on the ferry lasted a month and after that she was transferred to another small boat. After three days, she reached Thailand where she had to go on foot.

    "After I reached Thailand, they made us get on another small ferry and was later given to the agents (traffickers) and brought to the jungle.

    "I was in the jungle for three months and I was placed in a camp on a hill for 7 days. I do not know where I was and which part of Malaysia I was brought to later," she said while her children sat with her.

    She said when she was placed in the camps in Thailand, the "agent" beat her up and made her starve because they wanted money from her.

    "These camps had basic facilities and they just buried those who died in holes near us.

    "They asked me to ask my family back in my village for money. My husband was with me at that time, but later they separated us and now I do not know where he is.

    "I pleaded with them and I told them I did not have money. They made me ask the people at my village for help.

    "I eventually paid them RM7,500 for my freedom after the people at my village sent me the money."

    She hoped that they would get some pity from Malaysians and get some help.

    "I do not have a place to stay and I need to feed my children. I do not have my husband with me any more as I do not know where he is or what happened to him after they separated us at this camp."

    Khleta is staying at the temporary shelter with her two children, a son (5 years) and daughter (1 year 6 months).

    Video:Tales of modern slavery from Rohingyas themselves, death ...

    Wednesday 10 June 2015

    NA passes resolution condemning genocide of Rohingya Muslims

    Source The express tribune, 10 June

    Resolu­tion calls upon the United Nation­s to interv­ene to stop human rights violat­ions in Myanma­r

    Rohingya migrants. PHOTO: REUTERS
    Rohingya migrants. PHOTO: REUTERS

    ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Wednesday passed a resolution expressing deep concerns over the heinous crimes being committed by religious extremists against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, Radio Pakistan reported.

    The resolution moved by Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain strongly condemned the genocide of Rohingya Muslims and called upon the United Nations to intervene to stop human rights violations there.

    Appreciating the government of Pakistan for raising the issue with the UN Secretary General, the resolution called upon the government to impress upon the Myanmar government for the protection of human rights of the peaceful community of Rohingya Muslims. The resolution also called upon the OIC to deliberate the issue and take necessary action in the matter.

    The resolution commended the courage of Rohingya Muslims who are bravely facing the genocidal campaign against them.

    Read: PM formed special committee on relief efforts for Rohingya Muslims: Nisar

    As a key member of the OIC, Pakistan is going to write to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as well as the United Nations Security Council president to ask them for further intensification of diplomatic and moral pressure on Myanmar to grant citizenship rights to Rohingyas in accordance with international humanitarian laws.

    This was one of the many recommendations of a three-member cabinet committee that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approvedon Tuesday.

    Read: Pakistan approves $5m for Rohingyas, but wants UN, OIC to take notice of migrant's plight

    The committee – headed by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and comprising the PM's Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz and the PM's Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi – was formed by the PM last week to deliberate on the issue of Rohingya Muslims.

    The committee has also decided that a special grant of US$ 05 million should be announced as Pakistan's contribution towards plight of Rohingyas. This grant will be channeled in the form of food through the World Food Programme for distribution in Rohingyas' camps in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

    Tuesday 9 June 2015

    Protection centre in Padang Besar to hold Rohingya

    Source Therakyatpost, 8 June


    MICHAEL MURTY By: Michael Murty

    Padang Besar Member of Parliament Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin says talks are ongoing to transfer power to handle Rohingya refugees to the National Security Council. – Reuters/Antara Foto pic

    KUALA LUMPUR, June 8, 2015:

    According to Padang Besar Member of Parliament Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin, the issue of Rohingya entering the country should be handled by National Security Council (MKN) and not the Home Ministry.

    He said there were ongoing talks on transfer of power so the matter could be handled better and there were plans by MKN to build a protection centre in his constituency to deal with the refugees from Myanmar.

    "When these people enter the country, we can hold them there. This place can act as a holding centre for them," he told The Rakyat Post when met in Parliament.

    He said the next thing Malaysia must do is pressure Myanmar to stop persecuting the Rohingya in their country.

    "We must do this through Asean and OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) and pressure the country to stop persecuting the group.

    "If this is not done, the persecution against them will not stop."

    When asked if there were any leads from pathology reports on the remains taken from Bukit Wang Burma, near Kampung Wang Kelian, in Perlis, he said "not yet".

    However, he was not ruling out the rumoured organ trade activity that might have taken place.

    "We suspected that as well. Some doctors have even indicated that the bodies were infected with H1N1 and other diseases."

    Talking about working together with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), he said it was true that UNHCR had come to speak to the government many times, but it was to ask for the right for these Rohingyas to work in the country.

    "The government is still mulling this matter as well as other solutions.

    "We are hoping UNHCR will play a role as a body from the United Nations (UN) to figure out ways to stop the Rohingya from fleeing the country.

    "We hope to work closely with UNHCR to pressure Myanmar to stop persecuting these people."

    He said after the UNHCR gives these people cards, it often washes its hands off them and the government has then to step in.

    "They should help them in terms of food and shelter."

    He said he would meet with a group of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as Malaysian Rohingya groups next week to discuss methods to obtain funds for Rohingyas.

    "We will meet and figure out ways to get these people recognised as people of Arakan, Myanmar."

    Monday 8 June 2015

    Rohingyas should go home and fight against terror government like Karen

    Source freemalaysiatoday, 6 June

    PAS delegate asks Rohingyas to return to Myanmar and fight for their rights saying that they are being cowards by staying here.


    KUALA SELANGOR: A PAS delegate to the party's general assembly has made a slashing attack on Rohingya refugees, accusing them of being "cowards" for staying in Malaysia and not returning to Myanmar to fight for their rights.

    Mohd Yusof Zaidi of Bagan PAS was reported to have said Malaysia could not be a place for "refugee dumping" and asylum-seekers from all over the world.

    "We will plunge into many (negative) issues from this refugee dumpings," he was quoted as saying. "If we keep accepting all of them (Rohingyas), then the Vietnamese will come, then the Cambodians, and even the Americans, and we will find ourselves as the dumping ground for refugees," he said, according to Malay Mail Online.

    Rohingya refugees have fled violence and what is described as state-sponsored persecution in Myanmar, where they are regarded as stateless descendants of immigrants from Bengal.

    More than 1,000 boat people, comprising Bangladeshi migrants and Rohingya refugees, landed in Langkawi on May 10 and are being held in an immigration detention centre in Kedah. Many thousands more are believed to be afloat in the Andaman Sea and Malacca Straits, being refused entry by Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

    Mohd Yusof Zaidi said the Rohingya community should go back to Myanmar and fight for their rights. "Why are they being cowards by staying here?" he was reported to have said.

    Yusof said the root of the Rohingya problem was the Myanmar government. "Find ways to stop the violence… start with Burma and if needed, we ask those here to leave their families to go back to fight their government," he was quoted as saying.