Boat stranded at sea sighted off Mon State

Boat stranded at sea sighted off Mon State

By Azan
Friday, May 25, 2012

Approximately 86 people travelling by boat from Bangladesh were rescued by ethnic Mon fishermen after being 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 rescued people to Ann Dein village where locals reportedly discovered that the group was stranded in the Andaman Sea for two weeks without food.

Rohingya boat people found in southern Thailand in 2008.
(Photo: Reuters)

The people said they became stuck at sea after facing storms and having engine problems.
A villager in Ann Dein told Kaowao this morning that of the 86 people some can speak Burmese and only one is a woman.

“They told us 17 others died from famine. I found that some people among them were sick,” said the villager. Mon residents from neighboring villages brought food for the arrivals.

According to local residents, the survivors are all from Bangladesh and were on their way to Malaysia.

Yesterday, township authorities including police and marine officers came and interrogated the arrivals, according to villagers. “We heard that they are Rohingyas and the police are going to take them to Ye Township and punish them,” said one villager.

Meanwhile, Maung Kyaw Nu of the Burmese Rohingya Association of Thailand appealed to MPs and the National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi to assist the almost 2 million Rohingya living in Burma and elsewhere.

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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