News / Asia

UN: Bangladesh Should Shelter Burma's Rohingya

Rohingya Muslims who fled Burma to Bangladesh sit in a boat after being intercepted  by Bangladeshi border authorities in Taknaf, Bangladesh, June 13, 2012.Rohingya Muslims who fled Burma to Bangladesh sit in a boat after being intercepted by Bangladeshi border authorities in Taknaf, Bangladesh, June 13, 2012.
x
Rohingya Muslims who fled Burma to Bangladesh sit in a boat after being intercepted  by Bangladeshi border authorities in Taknaf, Bangladesh, June 13, 2012.
Rohingya Muslims who fled Burma to Bangladesh sit in a boat after being intercepted by Bangladeshi border authorities in Taknaf, Bangladesh, June 13, 2012.
Lisa Schlein
GENEVA - The United Nations refugee agency is appealing to Bangladesh to keep its borders open to Rohingya refugees fleeing ethnic strife in Burma.  The UNHCR says it has credible reports that Bangladeshi security forces are pushing back refugee boats when they arrive on their territory.

United Nations refugee spokesman, Andrej Mahecic, says the UNHCR is deeply concerned that people fleeing violence in Burma’s Rakhine State are unable to seek asylum in neighboring Bangladesh.  He says the desperate situation of the minority-Rohingya Muslims is being made worse by their inability to find a safe, secure refuge.  
 
“We have a situation where we have first-hand reports of the Bangladeshi security forces turning the arrivals by boat," Mahecic said. "There are now a number of boats adrift in the mouth of the Naf River.  We have been talking to the Bangladeshi authorities and we hope that Bangladesh will, in line with its long tradition of hospitality with the people from Myanmar [Burma], will allow access to a safe haven and to assistance for these people.”
 
Mahecic says people on board these vessels are in desperate need of water, food and medical care.  Bangladeshi guards reportedly have turned back many boats carrying hundreds of people.  
 
Bangladesh has stepped up security along its 200-kilometer border with Burma to prevent an influx of Rohingya refugees.  Bangladesh, for years, has borne the brunt of the forced displacement of these people caused by earlier crises in Burma.  

Earlier this week, Bangladesh's foreign ministry said it is not in the country's best interest to allow more Rohingyas into the country.

A total of 300,000 Rohingya live in Bangladesh.  About one-tenth are sheltered in two official camps in the country's southern district of Cox’s Bazaar.
 
Deadly ethnic clashes between the Rohingya and Buddist Rakhine minority flared up in Burma’s Rakhine state one week ago.  An estimated 30 people have been killed in the violence.  
 
Mahecic says a U.N. team traveled to the affected region this week to assess the situation.
 
“The team saw smoldering villages. Based on what we saw, we consider that the displacement could be considerable. The government estimates that some 30,000 people have been displaced. There are efforts under way to calm the situation. The situation is tense still,” he said.  
 
The U.N. spokesman says the refugee agency was forced to temporarily withdraw its staff from the area last week because of the dangerous situation. 

Mahecic says he hopes it will be possible for the staff to return soon to monitor the situation on the ground and to provide essential needs to the displaced.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: John C. Kimbrough from: Brooklyn, New York
June 16, 2012 2:30 PM
Having lived, worked, studied and travelled in Asia for the last 24 years, I am sad to say that I found very little compassion, understanding and enlightenment among the people, races, ethnic groups and nationalities in and of the various countries there. If the various people are not fighting among themselves within their own societies, cultures and countries, they are fighting with people of other societies, cultures and countries.....There is way too much hatred against others. But there is no reason on the part of myself or anyone else to point a finger at Asia. This has been and is going on in Africa, South America, North America and Europe.....We are not wise as humans and not open to the suffering and hardships of others......We should be because we all have the gift of life to be thankful for and build on..............

In Response

by: Sagar
June 16, 2012 11:00 PM
Sophisticated, but would you please tell me, what is the main cause of such dispute? Ain't it the misunderstanding of religious theme? More people had died cause of religion or ethnic concept than any all other reasons ever. Man created such religion for their sake and in their hopeless period, now it should over and we should depend on us not to be thankful to any utopian power for a solution.


by: Anonymous
June 16, 2012 6:25 AM
UN need to go Myanmar now and help all refugees... Where is human rights, Wher is USA.....


by: Peter from: USA
June 15, 2012 8:58 PM
First thing after uncensoring is hatred against another? Democracy and freedom is a good thing but not good if turned to hatred. Rule of law must first apply before democracy can be truely implemented


by: Moin Malik from: USA
June 15, 2012 2:46 PM
So the Prophetess of Peace, Madam Suu Kyi has nothing to say about Rohingyas. If nothing, like her countrymen, she could have expressed indifference or hatred for Rohingyas. No one is going to snatch her Nobel Prize,

In Response

by: MH from: USA
June 18, 2012 5:27 PM
Try to read a little more than write such comments. Do you think that whether to accept Rohingya can be decided by one person only? Do you think that rest of Burma going to accept Rohingya as ethnic? The problem here is not about Rohingya getting citizen or not - that depends on immigration laws (now there's no law in burma so not only rohingya but the rest of burmese ethnics are also having trouble) . Anyone as a migrant can become a citizen in a country and get the same rights as others. Rohingya problem is they try to get ethnic status when they are actually immigrants and not ethnic (burma has many chinese and indian citizens who do not claim themselves ethnic but just integrated into the society). If you are in USA you should know being legal immigrant is a path to citizen in future. So, why Rohingya trying to push for ethnic status ? - it create suspicions from Rakhine and Burmese alike that they are pushing for ethnic status because later they will ask for land/seperation using terrorist techniques. They have done before - look up on internet - they killed over ten thousand ethnic Rakhines and buddhist monks in the past. That's how they get themselves into this stage of being hated by others in the country. Please don't get blinded by the photos/media which do not provide whole history of this affair. For the long term future of burma, this issue must be treated carefully but enacting proper immigration/civil rights law. Rohigya should drop ethnicity claim and join the rest by pushing for law reforms, and also stop breeding mouths they cannot feed.

In Response

by: Anonymous
June 16, 2012 6:32 AM
She is greedy for Nobel prize... she has no feelings about her country peoples...those are loss their's house and out of the country ... When her country peoples are burning that time gone to Europe ... This all are packed game ...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid