A. A. SIMONIA
Candidate of Economic Sciences
For several years now, at the end of the year, at the most favorable time for navigation, thousands of people leave their homes in western Myanmar and embark on a dangerous sea journey across the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea to reach the shores of Thailand, Malaysia or Indonesia.
This annual migration process is constantly growing, but in the winter of 2008 - 2009 it became especially large-scale. More than 6 thousand people on dozens of fragile fishing boats went in search of a better life. This attracted media attention, and photos of "people in boats" began to appear on the pages of newspapers and on television screens. As the media's attention to the process grew, the number of refugees increased rapidly. Reports of the Thai Navy's mistreatment of incoming migrants - they were sent back to the open sea without water or food-caused a particularly large response.
These "boat people" are unrecognized Rohingya Muslims living in Rakhine State (formerly Arakan) in western Myanmar.
In early 2009, the Indonesian Coast Guard rescued about 400 migrants from Myanmar, who, according to the victims, had been at sea for about three weeks and were in critical condition at the time of the rescue. The rescuers reported that representatives of the migration services of Thailand beat them and forced them to go back to sea. Previously, similar reports were received from the Indian Coast Guard in the Andaman Islands. The survivors said that the Thai authorities detained them for illegally entering the country and, after holding them for two days on a desert island, sent them on the same dilapidated boats to the open sea, providing them with a small amount of rice and water, which was only enough for one day. During the past winter season, 1,190 people were sent to sea in this way, of which only 650 were rescued by Indians and Indonesians.1
who are they? COME FROM WHERE?
The Myanmar Government initially did not respond to reports of t ... Read more