‘Mass casualties’ unless Thailand and others meet obligations to rescue boat people – TRFN

Rohingya migrants passed food supplies dropped by a Thai helicopter to others aboard a boat drifting off the southern island of Koh Lipe in the Andaman Sea on Thursday.

LONDON, May 15 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia should fulfil their obligations under international maritime law by rescuing thousands of migrants adrift at sea and avoiding “mass casualties”, shipping experts said on Friday.

Thousands of mostly Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Myanmar and others escaping poverty in Bangladesh are stranded on boats as governments in the region seek to prevent them from landing, despite a request by the United Nations to rescue them.

“We will have mass casualties on our hands if there is not an immediate and concerted search-and-rescue operation by countries in the region,” said David Hammond, a maritime law expert and founder of charity Human Rights At Sea.

The migrants have been at sea in rickety boats for weeks with little water and food following a crackdown by the Thai government on human trafficking.

“Turning these vulnerable people away because of political concerns that they may wish to seek refugee status is unacceptable and violates the obligation of governments to help people in distress at sea,” Hammond told the Thomson Reuters Foundation…

Related: Fishermen brought about 700 boat people ashore in Aceh, Indonesia. It is described as ‘temporary.’

Indonesia’s official statement says they will try to prevent boats from entering their territorial waters ‘to avert a flood of others following behind causing “social issues”.’

Rohingya-receive-aidThai helicopter dropping food.

  • How about Malaysia and Thailand and Bangladesh taking some of the Muslims?

    • Jay Currie

      Apparently these are the Palis and Syrians of East Asia… No one, least of all Muslim States, wants them.

      Which is tragic for them but very much not our problem.

    • Alain

      No, not Thailand. They certainly do not need more Muslim invaders. However there are plenty of Muslim countries in the same region that could take them in. I am just fed up with the very idea that any non Muslim country has an obligation to accept them.

  • ntt1

    why would Thailand, embroiled in a vicious civil war with its southern muslim populations ,want to import more muslim trouble makers ?

  • Norman_In_New_York

    Weren’t the Indonesians trying to flood Australia with Muslim boast invaders? Well, now the shoe is on the other foot and the Indonesian authorities are hypocrites, phonies and frauds.

    • Frau Katze

      Yes they were. Got all ticked off when the Aussies started sending them back.

  • pop

    Why isn’t the united nations complaining?

    • Frau Katze

      They are. It was in a different article.

  • bob e

    where are the sharks ?? they need food & love too .. !!

  • Hard Little Machine

    Fuck em.