Rescued Rohingya Describe High-Seas Terror

A group of Rohingya say they were beaten by traffickers and drank their own urine to stay alive on a perilous four-month journey at sea until their dramatic rescue near the Indonesian coast.The bedraggled survivors - about 100 in all, mostly women and children - described a high-seas horror story that saw them reduced to throwing the dead overboard as their rickety craft drifted thousands of kilometres towards Malaysia.Two survivors claimed that people smugglers paid to transport them had bea

29 June 2020

Nearly 100 Rohingya Rescued Off Indonesia

Nearly 100 Rohingya from Myanmar, including 30 children, have been rescued from a rickety wooden boat off the coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island, a maritime official said Wednesday.Images shot from Indonesian rescue boats showed dozens of children and adults, many weeping, after they had been plucked from their vessel by local fishermen."The boat with Rohingya onboard was broken and floating in the middle of the sea when the fishermen found them," said Muhammad Nasir, head of

25 June 2020

Internet Blackout In Rakhine Enters Second Year

The internet shutdown in Myanmar's conflict-ridden northwest, described by rights groups as the world's longest, entered a second year Sunday with locals and campaigners appealing for an end to the blackout as coronavirus fears grip the region.The Myanmar military has been embroiled in a bloody civil war since January 2019 against the Arakan Army (AA), an insurgent group fighting for more autonomy for ethnic Rakhine Buddhists.The government shut down mobile data in several townships

22 June 2020

BLM-Inspired Message Reaches Myanmar

Myanmar activists inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement have launched their own anti-racism campaign in a country where many Muslims and people of Indian heritage are made to feel like outsiders.Buddhist-majority Myanmar officially boasts a patchwork of 135 ethnic groups, but many have felt subjugated by the dominant Bamar. The "Don't Call Me Kalar" campaign launched on Facebook aims to stymie the use of a term that historically refers to people from the Indian s

12 June 2020

Malaysia To Send Back Latest Rohingya Boat Arrivals

Malaysia said Tuesday it will send back hundreds of Rohingya who arrived by boat this week after months at sea, as fears mounted that the refugees could be carrying a new wave of coronavirus.The country is a favoured destination for the persecuted Muslim minority from mostly Buddhist Myanmar, with thousands risking their lives on perilous sea crossings every year.They usually travel from Myanmar or Bangladesh, where about one million live in squalid refugee camps after fleeing a 2017 military

10 June 2020

Rohingya Refugees Running Scared From COVID-19 Tests

Rohingya refugees infected with coronavirus are fleeing quarantine in their Bangladesh camps because they fear being transferred to an isolated island in the Bay of Bengal, community leaders said on Thursday.At least two infected refugees have gone missing since testing positive for the virus after the first COVID-19 death was reported on Tuesday, they said.About one million Rohingya - most of whom fled a military crackdown in Myanmar in 2017 - are packed into camps along the Bangladesh borde

5 June 2020

Anti-Blackness In Southeast Asia?

On Tuesday, social media feeds were flooded with black squares posted by corporations, celebrities, sports stars and the general public – along with the hashtag #BlackOutTuesday. It was reported that the idea was to fill Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with blackout squares, halting other activities on social media to free up the time usually dedicated to these platforms for people to educate themselves on the Black Lives Matter movement.

4 June 2020

Malaysia’s Immigration Depots: COVID-19 Hotspots?

Just yesterday, Malaysian media reported that a Rohingya man escaped from a quarantine centre at the Ministry of Health Malaysia’s Training Institute in Tanjung Rambutan, a small town in the west coast state of Perak. Local police are now on the hunt for the migrant.

2 June 2020

Rohingya Reduced To Drug Smuggling

Rohingya refugees fleeing anti-Muslim persecution in Myanmar are being exploited by the Arakan Army to smuggle synthetic drugs into Bangladesh. The army, which is demanding greater autonomy for Myanmar’s Rakhine State, uses money from the drug sales to purchase arms and ammunition. It moves the drugs from production centres in Myanmar’s interior to Rakhine State, where the Rohingya make the arduous trek along refugee migration routes into neighbouring Bangladesh.

31 May 2020

Race To Stop COVID 'Nightmare' In Rohingya Camps

Emergency teams raced Friday to prevent a coronavirus "nightmare" in the world's largest refugee settlement after the first confirmed cases in a sprawling city of shacks housing nearly a million Rohingya.There have long been warnings the virus could race like wildfire through the cramped, sometimes sewage-soaked alleys of the network of 34 camps in southeast Bangladesh.Most of the refugees have been there since around 750,000 of the Muslim minority fled a 2017 military offensiv

16 May 2020

Myanmar Army Admits Abuse After Video Emerges

Myanmar's military has conceded its troops abused prisoners in Rakhine State after a video of soldiers battering blindfolded detainees spread on social media - a rare admission of wrongdoing by a force often accused of acting with impunity.The video, which emerged on Sunday, shows plain-clothed men punching and kicking the heads of handcuffed and blindfolded detainees.The five detainees had been arrested on suspicion of being Arakan Army (AA) insurgents and were being transferred to Rakh

14 May 2020

Hate And Discrimination In A Pandemic World

The new coronavirus which emerged just a few months ago in Wuhan, China has infected over 4.2 million people today. Before the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that the disease would be called COVID-19 – many people, authorities and even the media associated the virus with Wuhan and with China.

12 May 2020