Monday, 8 June 2015

by Natasha Wong, Junior 1 Cempaka, Class of 2016.

Each day, we groggily drag ourselves to get ready and head to school. We enjoy our breakfasts, lunches and dinners. We enjoy our classes (though that’s debatable) and sleep in our own rooms and beds. As much as we complain, we really are living very fortunate lives - so fortunate that sometimes we miss out on what’s happening to the people around us. An example would be something that just recently happened on our shores, involving Rohingya people.

The Rohingya Muslims are a minority that lives under persecution in Myanmar. Their country refuses to accept them, going as far as for the government to enforce policies to repress the Rohingya. They are denied the basic living necessities, living with their movements restricted. Back in 2012, an outbreak of violence between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims started a struggle that drove nearly 150, 000 Rohingya from their homes and into hastily put-together camps.

Photo credit :http://www.islaminteractive.info/content/rohingya-genocide
It is because of this treatment that they flee their country, and now, are stranded at sea. According to the UN refugee agency, in the past three years, more than 120,000 Rohingyas have boarded ships to flee abroad. The agency claimed that 25,000 migrants left Myanmar and Bangladesh in the first quarter of this year, about double the number over the same period last year.

They have no choice but to escape through human traffickers that seek to exploit them further. These traffickers often demand ransom from their families to ensure their safety, and they are often forced to work in labour camps after the long journey at sea. This inhumane human trafficking circle has not gone by unnoticed; The Thai government has begun to crack down on these smugglers, causing them to abandon the boats – with the Rohingya people remaining.

Add caption : http://en.dailypakistan.com.pk/pakistan/rohingyas-plight-imran-khan-writes-letter-to-ban-ki-moon-897/

This leads us to the newspaper headings we have been seeing these few days - stories of unwanted migrants in the sea, sent from one unwelcoming country to another. Their own country has rejected them, and surrounding countries have at very best given them a lukewarm reception, with local fisherman even being told not to help them. 

The Malaysian government has pulled their resources together in order to house the refugees temporarily, even sending out coast guards and the navy to conduct search and rescue options for boats carrying Rohingya migrants stranded at sea. On the 21st May, Prime Minister Najib Razak tweeted that “We have to prevent loss of life.” - words that ring true throughout the dire situation. 


The atrocities committed to the Rohingya Muslims are too many to count; the stories and experiences they’ve been through are scars that continue to haunt them - and the rest of mankind. 
by Natasha Wong 11:06 2 comments

2 comments:

  1. The plight of the Rohingya is clearly not a religious one of being anti-Muslim. Malaysia and Indonesia are Muslim nations even if Burma and Thailand are not. I believe the problem is strictly anti-illegal immigrant and is no different than the reaction to the hispanic children who arrived in America across the southern border last summer. The same applies to the Africans crossing the Mediterranean to reach Italian soil. And the Syrian refugees in Jordan. Well, people run from life which is not good for them. The Rohingya circumstance says nothing in regards to prejudice and legislative issues in Asia; it basically says volumes in regards to the historical backdrop of human instinct. I will write my paper and raise that topic on my blog.

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  2. As indicated by the UN evacuee office, in the previous three years, more than 120,000 Rohingyas have boarded Homework Writing Help Service boats to escape abroad.

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