YANGON – Myanmar’s Government on Wednesday in Yangon said that 727 migrants were brought ashore to western Rakhine State for temporary shelter, after their boat was held near the Hlaing Gyi navy base for six days.
The Information Ministry said the migrants’ vessel was seized by the navy off the country’s southern coast on Friday, and that they were being held near the Bangladeshi border in Rakhine State.
It said the migrants would stay in Rakhine State for repatriation to their country of origin.
The ministry said the 727 migrants were among an estimated 2,000 people, mostly Rohingya Muslims, from Myanmar and Bangladeshis, abandoned at sea by traffickers since a crackdown started last month in Thailand.
The UN said in a report that the Rohingya were at the centre of an international humanitarian crisis.
It said they said they suffered discrimination in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar which did not recognise them as an official ethnic group.
The report noted that they were also considered as illegal Bengali immigrants, in spite of having lived in what was now Myanmar for several generations.
It said many Rohingyas traveled by boat or overland through Thailand hoping to reach Malaysia or Indonesia, both Muslim-majority nations.
It disclosed that they were often exploited and abused by traffickers along the way.(dpa/NAN)
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