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Boat stranded at sea sighted off Mon State
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Stranded Seafarers Back On Course

By Kaowao
Monday, May 28, 2012

The 86 people recently stranded at sea off the coast of Mon State left Ann Dein village yesterday to continue their journey to Malaysia, according to Mon sources.

A woman from Ann Dein village spoke to Kaowao on the phone and reported that the people launched in their boat around 4 pm local time.

“They got a lot of food donated from local Mon people. They will have no problem for food.”
The source said that the Mon residents donated around 1 million Kyat to the group, and even helped fix the broken boat engine that had originally immobilized the journey.

Rohingya boat people found in Southern Thailand in 2008. (Photo: The Sail)

Ethnic Mon fishermen rescued the 86 people after they were sighted off the shore of Ann Dein village, 10 miles northwest of Ye Township, in Mon State in southern Burma, according to local sources.

The fishermen brought the group to Ann Dein village, where locals reportedly discovered that the boat was stranded in the Andaman Sea for two weeks without food.

The people said they became stuck at sea after facing storms and having engine problems.
According to local residents, the survivors were Rohingyas from Bangladesh and were on their way to Malaysia.

Of the 86 people, some could speak Burmese and only one was a woman. They reported that 17 others had died from famine during the crossing.

Township authorities, including police and marine officers, did not cause problems for the people after visiting the village and interrogating the arrivals, according to villagers.

Rohingya people frequently leave their homes and families in Bangladesh and Burma, fleeing discrimination and some of the worst living conditions in the world.

Many try to find work in neighboring Thailand and Malaysia by traversing the sea in small boats, but regularly wash ashore or are forced to dock because of rough conditions in the Andaman Sea.

Burma's Rohingya, a Muslim minority from western Arakan State, are discriminated against by the military regime and are often subjected to human rights abuses by the Burmese army. Their population is described as one of the most persecuted on earth.

Thailand has also been criticized for inhumane treatment of Rohingyas, drawing international attention in 2009 when the Thai military was accused of intercepting boatloads of Rohingyas, sabotaging their vessels, and abandoning them at sea.


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