Dozens of Rohingya Refugees Stranded in Southern Thailand

At least 29 Burmese men and 31 Burmese women were found in Rawi Island, Satun Province, Thailand.

ACTNews, BANGKOK – Escalating conflict in Myanmar forced Rohingya Muslims fled their homeland. In desperation, Rohingya people escaped Myanmar with various means, including getting on boat, crossing thousands of ocean miles illegally for a country they hoped will receive them.

More often than not, their journey didn’t go as smooth. On Tuesday (12/6), a boat carrying 54 Rohingya Muslims were stranded in Southern Thailand coast. At least 29 Burmese man and 31 Burmese women were found in Rawi Island, Satun Province, Thailand. According to a revelation from one Rohingya, they had been on boat for the last couple of months to reach Malaysia.

Citing from Reuters, the boat they used often experienced machine failure, until it stopped functioning altogether. The latest news was that all passengers, including boat people from Thailand and Myanmar, were detained by Thai Navy as illegal immigrants.

The incident recalled our memory on another tragedy that happened on 20th April 2018. At that time, a boat carrying Rohingya people were also stranded in Kuala Raja, Kuala Sub-district, Bireuen Regency, Aceh. For approximately one week, 79 Rohingya were tossed around in open sea.

According to locals’ information, these Rohingyas were found in concerning condition. They complained about running out of food supplies after being tossed around in the sea for one week. They ended up asking for permission from locals to rest for a while in Kuala Raja Beach, until Indonesia’s authorities responded their arrival.

Beside crossing the ocean to another country, some also escaped on land. After massive expulsion that happened in 2017, at least 700.000 Rohingya people were projected to be on the run to Bangladesh, seeking asylum. Their goals were twofold: to escape the war and to find another job in neighboring country. []

Picture source: Reuters