AP:Myanmar asylum seekers find safe haven in Palau

By TOMOKO A. HOSAKA

Roman Catholic priest Rusk Saburo, center, speaks as Myanmar Buddhist monks Agga Na Na, left, and Pyinna Nanda listen during a meeting with The Associated Press in Koror, Palau, Sunday, June 14, 2009. A group of 11 asylum seekers fled their homes in Myanmar to Malaysia to the Philippines and finally found peace in Palau, a tiny Pacific nation that has mobilized to protect them. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

KOROR, Palau (AP) — The newcomers on this tiny Pacific nation are young and in limbo, scared that they’ll be arrested if they’re sent back to their native land. Most speak no English, but they say they’re astounded by the generosity of Palau and its people.

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AFP:Thailand accused of returning asylum-seekers to sea to die

PORT BLAIR, India (AFP) — India said Sunday that hundreds of people were missing at sea, believed to be part of a wave of boat people allegedly dragged out to the middle of the ocean by Thailand and left to die.

Thailand has denied the accusations, but accounts of survivors and the latest reports from the Indian coast guard have piled the pressure on Bangkok, and the Thai government said it would meet rights groups on Monday.

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Arbitrary Rule by Law and Racial Discriminations causing difficulties even for the Burmese Muslim professionals’ migration to Malaysia

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Murder at Sea – 29 Aug 08 – Part 1&2(Al Jazeera-Video)

Klang parliamentarian Charles Santiago mentioned a recent documentary aired by ntv7 on March 5 highlighting offences undertaken by immigration authorities dealing with refugees mainly from Burma. The documentary exposed links between smugglers and border enforcement officers involved in trafficking Burmese migrant workers and refugees who are deported back to their country.  

“We have heard numerous horrifying accounts where_

  1. asylum seekers and refugees from Burma
  2. are handed over to human smugglers at the border,
  3. and demand payment for their release.
  4. Those unable to pay the amount are sold to fishing boats, brothels or as bonded labourers,”

he claimed. “The government has to reprimand officers selling refugees who are here seeking safe haven to protect themselves from political prosecution in their home land,” said Santiago.

 

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Xenophobia

Originally the word xenophobia comes from the Greek words xénos, meaning ‘the stranger’ and ‘the guest’ and phóbos, meaning ‘fear’. Thus, xenophobia stands for ‘fear of the stranger’, but usually the term is taken to mean ‘hatred of strangers’1. Xenophobia can be understood as “an attitudinal orientation of hostility against non-natives in a given population”.2

In contrast to sociobiologists who consider xenophobia to be a universal phenomenon, social scientists describe it as one among several possible forms of reactions generated by anomic situations in the societies of modern states. Furthermore, it is growing out of the existence of essentialist symbolic and normative systems that legitimate processes of integration or exclusion. Thus, xenophobic behaviour is based on existing racist, ethnic, religious, cultural, or national prejudice. Xenophobia can be defined as the “attitudes, prejudices and behaviour that reject, exclude and often vilify persons, based on the perception that they are outsiders or foreigners to the community, society or national identity.” 3

Care Latte with the Home Minister of Malaysia:

Care Latte with the Home Minister:

Homing in on Home issues

www.wongchunwai.com

 

 

Extracts only. Sunday, 20 April 2008  

Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar is responsible for one of the most important, if not powerful, ministries in the Cabinet. Speaking to The Star’s Group Chief Editor, he talked about his tasks from heading law enforcement agencies to deciding on the role of the media, his upcoming plans for the ministry, Umno, and the country’s political outlook.

What are your plans for the Home Ministry?

Syed Hamid: The Home Ministry is the second biggest with a staff of 159,000.

  • Now we are more open to public scrutiny.
  • This is a challenging and interesting ministry and it’s close to the people’s hearts.

If you talk on matters of_

  • immigration, visas, passports,
  • the National Registration Department,
  • permanent residence
  • and citizenship status,

all are in the limelight. Continue reading

AI report:Migrant workers, refugees and asylum-seekers

 

Malaysia

Migrant workers, refugees and asylum-seekers

  1. Mass arrests of migrant workers, refugees and asylum-seekers by the People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) continued.
  2. According to a government news agency, 24,770 migrants had been detained by Rela as of August 2007.
  3. Rela officials continued to be accused of using excessive force and arbitrary detention when conducting raids.
  4. Migrant workers were also subjected to psychological and physical abuse by agencies and employers.
  5. They were often denied equal access to benefits and protections guaranteed to Malaysian workers, including maternity provisions, limits on working hours and holidays.

Cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments

Caning continued to be used for many offences, including immigration offences. Irregular migrants (those lacking proper documentation) and refugees were reported to have received canings. Continue reading