Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Nearly two dozen Rohingyas caught fleeing Myanmar

Nearly two dozen Rohingyas caught fleeing Myanmar

Nearly two dozen Rohingyas caught fleeing Myanmar

Twenty-two Rohingya Muslims trying to escape one of Myanmar’s camps by boat were arrested after they were forced ashore by their leaking vessel, local police said on Friday.

The Rohingyas’ plight horrified the world two years ago when a vicious military crackdown forced some 740,000 of the stateless minority to flee to Bangladesh, where they still languish in refugee camps.

But hundreds of thousands more remain in Myanmar, confined since an earlier bout of inter-communal violence in 2012 to camps or villages with little freedom of movement.

With limited access to education, livelihoods or healthcare, Amnesty International condemns their conditions as “apartheid”.

Many have tried to escape over the years to Thailand or Malaysia, often paying extortionate fees to human traffickers for places on overcrowded, decrepit boats.

“There were a total of 22 people, nine men and 13 women,” found on Wednesday morning, Ayeyarwaddy police force spokesman Tun Shwe said.

He said they told police they had been travelling for four days from Thetkaypyin camp near Rakhine state capital Sittwe.

“They came ashore because their boat started leaking,” he said, adding that the arrested men and women said they had been trying to reach Yangon to find work.

This is the second group of Rohingya the Ayeyarwaddy police have arrested in recent months.

In September a group of 30 Rohingya, including nine children, were detained as they tried to travel by boat then road from Rakhine State to Yangon.

To the outrage of rights groups, eight teenagers were sent to a detention centre while one five-year-old child was imprisoned with his mother and the rest of the group, all sentenced to two years behind bars.

Tun Shwe said no decision had yet been taken on whether the latest group would be sent back to Rakhine or not, adding that police were still hunting the traffickers involved.

The Rohingya garner little sympathy within Myanmar, where many people buy the official line that the minority are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, even though many trace their roots in Myanmar back generations.

MOST VIEWED

  • Investors’ $14.4M projects approved

    New investments from local and foreign sources continue to pour into Cambodia despite the Covid-19 pandemic remaining a lingering threat to regional and global economies. This comes as the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract between one and 2.9 per cent this

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Rubber exports stretch 17%

    Cambodia exported 97,175 tonnes of natural rubber in the first five months of this year, surging 17 per cent compared to the same period last year as the Covid-19 pandemic stretches on, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries official Khuong Phalla told The Post on Thursday. Phalla,

  • ASEM supports Kingdom’s proposal to postpone meeting amid Covid

    The 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM13) scheduled to be held in Cambodia in November has been postponed until mid-2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation press statement released on Saturday said. The decision was made during a two-day meeting

  • Coffee maker roasted for producing fake product

    The Ministry of Interior’s Counter Counterfeit Committee will send a suspect to court on Monday after she allegedly roasted coffee mixed with soybeans and other ingredients, creating a product which could pose a high risk to consumers’ health. On the afternoon of July 2, the

  • Cash handout programme 80% complete

    Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation Vong Soth confirmed on Thursday that the implementation of the Cash Transfer Programme For Poor and Vulnerable Households During Covid-19 had been implemented for more than 80% of the over 560,000 families. The programme was introduced one week ago.

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Where is Cambodia’s exit strategy that can save the economy?

    With the prospect of being slammed by a double whammy, the government is working on an economic recovery plan to deliver it from Covid-19 and the EU’s partial withdrawal of the Everything But Arms scheme in the next two to three years Cambodia is

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Kingdom, UN discuss rights

    A year after Cambodia received 198 recommendations from UN member countries, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR-Cambodia) met with the Cambodia Human Rights Committee (CHRC) to discuss following-up on the Kingdom’s third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and