Muslims represent a minority group in Myanmar with a population of 1.3 million in total. Buddhist nationalist groups are operating with apparent impunity, looting Muslim and Christian establishments and calling for restrictions to be placed on 9% of the country that is Muslim.
Thousands have been embarked the boats with no permanent shelter in sight for months and have turned into floating prisons with no food or water in hand except to fetch fish from the sea and drink their own urine. As per reports, approximately 8,000 people are believed to be trapped at sea and they “the Rohingya minority of Burma” are now becoming known as Asia’s new boat people.
No economic rights. No citizenship. Overt state persecution. Violence by Buddhist extremists that’s sanctioned and sometimes assisted by the government. Horrifying levels of poverty, starvation, lack of medical care and more.
“They know they might sink and die” in the sea, Tahay said. “They know the danger. But circumstances forced them to leave.”
More than 100,000 Rohingyas in Rakhine state live in squalid displacement camps and ghettoized villages that are surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards, embedded in heavily Buddhist towns and cities.