Friday, January 4, 2013

Malaysia faces Rohingya influx

This group of men in Kuala Lumpur say they were forced to flee Myanmar because of persecution. Some of them have arrived as recently as this week, risking their lives to come by sea.

But they managed to avoid getting detained unlike those on the boat that arrived on Malaysia’s shores this week.

One Rohingya drowned trying to swim ashore and the others detained by Malaysian authorities.

Anecdotal evidence suggests a marked increase in the number of Rohingyas fleeing to Malaysia since the anti-Muslim violence broke out in Myanmar, last June.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR says it can’t yet estimate the number of Rohingyas displaced or fled to other countries.

Even before the recent influx, the UNHCR here had already registered 25,000 Rohingya as refugees. But there are still thousands more to be registered just like these people behind me.

Malaysia hasn't yet ratified the United Nation’s charter on refugees, leaving the refugees here with very few rights.

They cannot work or send their children to state schools and are vulnerable to arrest. But the Malaysian government says it’s doing what it can.

Rohingya activists call on the international community to do more to save them from the state-sponsored plight.

The United Nations has already described Rohingyas as the world’s most persecuted minority.

Source: here

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