Burmese Refugees Set Adrift, Hundreds Feared Dead in Thailand

 Burmese Refugees Set Adrift,

Hundreds Feared Dead in Thailand

BANGKOK, Jan 20 (IPS) – Hundreds of Rohingya (Burmese Muslim) refugees are feared dead after being pushed back into the sea by Thai authorities, according to human rights activists based in Thailand.

Up to 200 people are missing, while more than 300 others are believed to have died after they were set adrift by Thai soldiers – some with their hands tied behind their backs – in boats without engines, a survivor from one of the boats told IPS. 
Continue reading

MP: Don’t brush aside ‘refugees for sale’ claim

MP: Don’t brush aside ‘refugees for sale’ claim

An opposition parliamentarian today urged the government not to brush aside human trafficking claims now that the US Senate is probing a ‘refugees for sale’ scam in which Malaysian immigration officials have been implicated.

pakatan cij parliament pc 131108 charles santiagoPreviously, said Santiago, Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar had responded in ‘typical fashion’ in Parliament on the matter by announcing the formation of a special committee to investigate the claims, which were first exposed last year by private television network NTV7.

As predicted, it was “found” that immigration officials were not involved in trafficking of the Burmese or other refugees.
Continue reading

The Freedom Challenge

Monday, November 24, 2008

In Burma, a test of Barack Obama’s attitude toward promoting democracy

BARBARITY IN Burma last week served as a reminder that, with or without President-elect Barack Obama, the global struggle for liberty will rage on long after George W. Bush takes his “freedom agenda” home to Texas.

Some of Mr. Obama’s foreign policy advisers are nearly as impatient to deep-six that policy as they are to bid farewell to its author. They believe that Mr. Bush’s extravagant rhetoric overpromised and underperformed. Dissidents were encouraged and then abandoned. Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay mocked Washington’s pretensions to lead or lecture.

Read more>>

Minister rejects human trafficking claims

Minister rejects human trafficking claims

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar today acknowledged that many Burmese nationals have entered this country via the Malaysia-Thai border but denied that there is human trafficking.

Certain quarters had alleged that human trafficking activities involving Burmese nationals were going on in this country ‘although they could not prove’ that they existed, he told reporters.

kuala terengganu by election 140109 syed hamid albar“Where did these foreigners get their information? They assume that they know more than we do.

“If there is proof, action can be taken. Don’t make wild accusations,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama.

The minister said the authorities in this country must always cooperate with their counterparts in the neighbouring country to ensure that there is no incursion by foreigners into this country while illegal immigrants should be repatriated.
Continue reading

Racially bias UNHCR in Malaysia favoured the Christian Chins and discriminated against the Burmese Muslims and Rohingyas

Racially bias UNHCR in Malaysia

favoured the Christian Chins and

discriminated against the Burmese Muslims and Rohingyas

A Burmese refugee who served as an interpreter with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Kuala Lumpur accused his former colleagues of discrimination. 

 

Mohd Sadek Ali Hussin, who volunteered with the agency for four months until January this year, claimed that Burmese asylum-seekers who do not belong to the Chin ethnic community are sidelined by the UNHCR.

He said the discrimination occurs in terms of obtaining assistance for medical treatment, registering for refugee status and being accepted for resettlement in third countries. 

Sadek told malaysiakini that he himself was dissuaded from interviewing Rohingyas when working as an interpreter. 
Continue reading

Myanmar Refugees for sale, at Malaysia-Thai border

Myanmar Refugees for sale,

at Malaysia-Thai border 

Burmese refugees in Malaysia want the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to protect them more effectively against exploitation.

(NOTE: Because authorities are in a denial mode like the Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva in the recent case of atrocities of Thai Navy abandoning more than 1,000 Rohingya boat people in international waters in December 2008 alone. Curiously as if there is no more true Muslim leader left in the whole world, there is a deafening silence.)

vigil burma ngo 061007 mohd sadekAll Burma Democratic Front spokesperson Mohd Sadek Ali Hussin said one area that needs immediate attention is the ‘refugees for sale’ scam, saying it has resurfaced in recent months.

“There have been instances in which the UNHCR could have helped, but did not,” alleged Mohd Sadek, a former translator for the refugee agency’s office in Kuala Lumpur. 
Continue reading

Mizzima:Christians in Rangoon avoid churches

by Mungpi   

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Christians in Rangoon said they are being forced to avoid their churches and conduct services in make-shift places of worship at the homes of their members in rotation after authorities earlier this month made them sign pledges not to worship in their apartment churches.
Read more>>