The rickety internet huts have fallen silent in the crowded camps of displaced Rohingya Muslims in western Myanmar, no one comes anymore to bargain for the release of loved ones being held for ransom in Thailand and Malaysia.
“Before, every day at least 10 to 15 people would come here to negotiate with human traffickers,” said Tun Win, a young man who offers a video-call service from one of the bamboo and thatch huts, “Now, it’s nothing.”
For now at least, the smugglers who preyed for years on the misery of Myanmar’s Rohingya appear to be going out of business, and Asia’s most acute migrant crisis since the ‘boat people’ exodus at the end of the Vietnam War is ebbing.
Until last month, their grim trade ran like clockwork…
People smugglers can be stopped. The Europeans are being fools.
Australia also turned back one of these boats a few days ago, leaving the smugglers with simply nowhere to go.