How They See It, May 24, 2015

The Rohingya asylum crisis

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 May, 2015, 3:53am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 May, 2015, 3:53am

1. Jakarta Globe

Untold thousands of refugees, mostly ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar and Bangladesh, are languishing in overcrowded boats in the Andaman Sea as they flee persecution, only to be pushed back out into the water by the navies of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Indonesia kicked up a ruckus when the Australian government in 2013 implemented a similar strategy to "stop the boats" carrying migrants to its territory from Indonesia, and is now showing a callous disregard for the lives of thousands of people. Asean has flubbed its initial response to the crisis. But it is still not too late to make amends by addressing the problem head-on rather than literally casting it out to sea. Jakarta

 

2. Toronto Star

Burma has liberalised in the past few years, but the new government has shamefully allowed discrimination and violence against the country's one million Rohingyas to grow unchecked - and even refuses them citizenship. Some 150,000 have crowded into desperate refugee camps along the coast, while another 130,000 have fled by sea since 2012, according to the United Nations. This tragedy is happening far from Canada, but our government has a small but important role to play. The Harper government should add its voice to that of others telling the Burmese government it cannot expect to reap the advantages of opening to the world if it continues to persecute a helpless minority. Toronto

 

3. Khaleej Times

Myanmar's ruling junta has some explanation to do after the latest surge in refugees, which is a tragedy waiting to happen at sea. Human smugglers fleece these refugees of thousands of dollars and leave them at the mercy of the elements. Their misery is compounded when they become targets for pirates, who rob them of what's left of their dignity and possessions. Cases of rape and child abuse abound on these perilous voyages. Yet, no one cares. The world must put more pressure on the government in Myanmar. Fresh sanctions against the regime are called for and diplomacy must prevail. The junta should pay for these crimes against humanity before Myanmar is allowed to open for business. Sharjah, UAE