PRESS RELEASE: Appeal to search and rescue the abandoned people in distress at sea
(14th May 2015)
Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO) calls for immediate help of the regional countries and international community to rescue and save the lives of thousands of abandoned Rohingya and Bangladeshi boat people floating off the coasts of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
The deserted boat people, consisting of Rohingya women and children fleeing large-scale persecution and mass atrocity crimes in Burma, are now in distress and trauma, and they are facing starvation. They are in danger of being lost and deserve all assistance and shelter, well in time, from the international community in accordance with article 98 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. In this connection, we appeal to the costal countries in the region to provide necessary search and rescue services.
We reiterate that the root cause of these human tragedies should be addressed. The Burmese/Myanmar government has to bear all responsibility for the untold sufferings of the Rohingya people for not allowing them to have a peaceful living in their own homeland.
The issue is, no doubt, an ASEAN issue particularly when the refugees have reached the soils of ASEAN countries like Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. The issue must be discussed in ASEAN for a regional solution to be found out in cooperation with other affected countries and international community. Human rights are universal and Burma should not be allowed to call it her domestic affairs.
Meanwhile, U.N. should intervene in the matter, on ground of humanitarianism, in order to save the lives of thousands of people victimized at the hands of the human traffickers and smugglers, and for a permanent solution of the Rohingya problem.
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