Monday,11 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1249, (4 - 10 June 2015)
Monday,11 December, 2017
Issue 1249, (4 - 10 June 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Plight of Myanmar Muslims

world
world
Al-Ahram Weekly

SINCE early May, more than 4,600 boat people from Myanmar and Bangladesh have been brought ashore from Southeast Asian waters. Several thousand more are believed to still be at sea after human smugglers abandoned their boats amid a regional crackdown.

Some are Bangladeshis who left their impoverished homeland in hope of finding jobs abroad. But many are Rohingya Muslims who have fled persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, which has denied them basic rights, including citizenship, and confined more than 100,000 to camps. There are more than one million Rohingya living in the country formerly known as Burma.

Malaysia and Indonesia, which initially pushed away boats carrying the migrants, recently said they would give temporary shelter to the boat people on condition that they are resettled in other countries within a year.

The government said that over 30,000 minority Rohingya Muslims have been murdered and thousands others injured in attacks between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims, most of whom Myanmar deem illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, despite roots going back generations.

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