Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) today (January 23, 2023) arrested two suspected members of new militant group 'Jamatul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya' after a gunfight at Kutupalong Rohingya camp in Ukhia upazila of Cox's Bazar. The arrestees were identified as Ronobir, a Shura member and head of the armed wing of the militant group, and his associate Bashar, a bomb-making expert. Read more: 12 militants, 14 KNF members arrested so far in anti-militancy drive in Bandarban: RAB A team of Rab-15 conducted a drive in Kutupalong Rohingya camp this morning, said ASP Abu Salam Chowdhury from Cox's Bazar Rab-15. Sensing the presence of law enforcers, the militants opened fire on them, forcing the Rab personnel to fire back, he added. Rab arrested the duo along with arms and explosives from a den in the camp following the gunfight. Details will be revealed at a press briefing at Ukhiya Rohingya camp area, the officer said. Read more: 3 ‘members of new militant outfit’ held with arms, explosives in Bandarban
Bangladesh's State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam has expressed optimism that the “pilot project” of Rohingya repatriation would be executed at an early date. He thanked China for its “active role” in a trilateral initiative among Bangladesh, Myanmar and China to provide a platform for dialogue to promote the early return of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas to Myanmar. Newly appointed Ambassador of China to Bangladesh Yao Wen met the State Minister for Foreign Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday (January 22, 2023) afternoon and discussed the issues of mutual interest. Responding to a question on Rohingya repatriation, Ambassador Wen said they have a common objective with Bangladesh regarding repatriation of Rohingyas to their homeland. Also Read: Will continue to work toward resolution of Rohingya issue: Japan He recognised Bangladesh's "sacrifice" in hosting the huge number of Rohingyas and assured of playing its role for their repatriation. “We discussed the issue. You pay a lot. You suffered a lot. You sacrificed a lot. We have the common objective (repatriation),”said Ambassador Wen. Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char and not a single Rohingya has been repatriated over the last six years. The State Minister also highlighted the importance of establishing direct air connectivity and requested the Chinese Ambassador to consider Bangladesh as a suitable place for industry relocation from China, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also Read: Over 3,500 desperate Rohingya attempted deadly sea crossings in 2022 The Chinese Ambassador showed interest to conclude a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on PPP for the growth of bilateral trade and commerce. State Minister Alam hoped that the bilateral relations between the two countries would reach new heights during the tenure of the new Ambassador. Both sides cordially exchanged views on bilateral and multilateral cooperation of mutual interests, including trade and investment, infrastructure development, connectivity and Covid situation. Congratulating the new Ambassador on the Chinese New Year’s Day, the State Minister thanked China for being the largest bilateral trade partner of Bangladesh. Read More: China will remain engaged in Bangladesh’s next stage of development journey: Momen During the meeting, he also thanked the Chinese government for its support in dealing with Covid-19 pandemic and the repatriation of Bangladeshi students from China and their subsequent return to China to continue their higher studies. He wished Ambassador Yao successful tenure in Bangladesh and assured him of full cooperation in discharge of his duties.
A Rohingya man was shot dead while two others sustained bullet injuries in a gunfight between two armed groups of Myanmar along Tumbru border in Naikhongchhari upazila of Bandarban on Wednesday. The deceased was identified as Hamid Ullah, 27, a resident of Balukhali Rohingya camp in Cox’s Bazar while the injured are Mohib Ullah, 25, and Mohammad Hossain, 12. They are the residents of Jadimuda Camp-26 in Teknaf upazila of the district. According to police and local sources, the firing started between the groups--Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa) and Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO ) on the zero line of Konarpara of Tumbru border of Ghumdhum union of Naikhongchhari upazila in the morning. Multiple incidents of gunfire occurred at a Rohingya camp, set up on the zero line, since 6:00am, leaving the trio injured with bullets. They were rushed to MSF-run hospital in Kutupalong Rohingya camp where physicians declared Hamid dead, Mahfuzul Islam, superintendent of police in Cox’s Bazar, said. Read more: Unexploded mortar shells found near Bangladesh-Myanmar border Besides, the injured have been undergoing treatment at the hospital, he said. Visiting the spot, the UNB correspondent found that some 30 Rohingyas including children took shelter in Ghumdhum union parishad (UP) leaving the zero line camp following the gunfight. Later, locals took the Rohingyas to a government primary school for safety. Ghumdhum UP Chairman Md Jahangir Aziz said locals were in panic following the gunfight between the two armed groups. Some 4,280 Rohingyas have been residing at the zero line camp since 2017.
More than 3,500 desperate Rohingya attempted deadly sea crossings in 39 boats in the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal in 2022, according to the latest data from UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. This represents a 360 per cent increase on the year before when some 700 people made similar journeys, said UNHCR spokesperson Shabia Mantoo at a press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on Tuesday. In the absence of a comprehensive regional response to address these perilous maritime movements, UNHCR warns that more people will die on the high seas, under the watch of many coastal States. UNHCR has recorded an alarming rise in the death toll. At least 348 individuals died or went missing at sea in 2022, making it one of the deadliest years since 2014. Some 3,040 individuals who undertook the sea journey disembarked in 2022, primarily in Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and Bangladesh. Nearly 45 per cent of those who disembarked were women and children, according to the UN Refugee Agency. In the last two months of 2022, four boats carrying over 450 Rohingya disembarked in Aceh, Indonesia. One boat carrying over 100 Rohingya disembarked in Sri Lanka. One boat is feared to have sunk in early December with approximately 180 individuals on board. Several boats that departed in December remained at sea as of the end of the year. Read more: Very limited spaces offered for Rohingya resettlement: UNHCR Calls by UNHCR to maritime authorities in the region to rescue and disembark people in distress have gone unheeded with many boats adrift for weeks. Most boats departed from Myanmar and Bangladesh, highlighting the growing sense of desperation amongst Rohingya in those two countries. Those who have disembarked report that they undertook these dangerous sea journeys in an effort to find protection, security, family reunification, and livelihoods in other countries. Among them are victims of trafficking, unaccompanied and separated children, and survivors of sexual- and gender-based violence. The current crisis in the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea is a crisis of solidarity, UNHCR said. The Bali Process, a forum for policy dialogue, information sharing and cooperation to address people smuggling, human trafficking and related transnational crime, will hold its 8th Ministerial meeting in February. Read more: Vulnerable Rohingyas: US to consider resettlement recommendations from UNHCR UNHCR repeats its call for prompt search and rescue and timely disembarkation in a place of safety, and for support to countries where Rohingya refugees are disembarked. "We call on countries to redouble efforts to prevent human smuggling and trafficking," said UNHCR spokesperson Shabia Mantoo at a press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. There is also a need for humanitarian responsibility to be more evenly distributed among countries in the region to ensure protection responses are predictable, equitable, and sustainable. The region and the international community need to support efforts to address the root causes of displacement in Myanmar. Until these are resolved, refugees will continue to undertake dangerous journeys in search of safety.
Newly appointed Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang has conveyed to Bangladesh that his country will “remain engaged” in Bangladesh’s development journey to the next level, noting Bangladesh’s “remarkable” economic progress over the years. “Our discussion was very useful and fruitful. Good news is that China has expressed its willingness to remain engaged with Bangladesh in our development journey. They want to work with us as a partner,” Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said today (January 10, 2023). Talking to reporters after attending a discussion, marking the historic Homecoming Day of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Momen said he and his Chinese counterpart discussed the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war, including disruptions in the supply chain and economic fallout. “… We need to work together to overcome the current situation (due to the Ukraine war),” Momen said. Read More: Bangladesh reassures Chinese FM of one-China policy, seeks better trade relations TRADE RELATIONS The foreign minister said he raised the huge trade gap issue with China as Bangladesh imports goods worth US$ 13 billion against exports worth less than US$ 800 million. He said though there was a decision of duty-free and quota-free facilities for 98 percent of Bangladeshi products, it has not been fully implemented yet due to the absence of a gazette notification. Businesses are yet to take advantage of the duty-free and quota-free facilities in the Chinese market, the minister said, seeking steps from the Chinese side. Read more: New Chinese foreign minister makes brief stopover at Dhaka airport ROHINGYA ISSUE Regarding the Rohingya issue, Momen said the Chinese side sees some problems in Myanmar that are delaying the repatriation of the Rohingyas. “But he (Chinese foreign minister) remains hopeful.” Momen said if the Rohingya issue remains unresolved, there is a possibility that they could become “radicalised”. “These people are stateless. Their future is uncertain. For that reason, they could succumb to extremism and terrorism,” he added. The Bangladeshi foreign Minister sought special measures from the Chinese side so that the problem could be resolved as soon as possible. “At least the process should start. He agreed,” Momen told reporters referring to his conversation with the Chinese foreign minister. Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char and not a single Rohingya has been repatriated since August, 2017. Read More: New Chinese envoy presents credentials to President Hamid In August 2017, a deadly crackdown by Myanmar army on Rohingya Muslims sent hundreds of thousands fleeing across the border into Bangladesh. Bangladesh also conveyed to China that it maintains a balanced foreign policy with all countries while reassuring Dhaka’s support to Beijing. “We believe in the One-China principle. We maintain a balanced foreign policy. This is our principle. We will extend our support (to China) from time to time,” Momen told reporters at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport early Tuesday as conveyed to his Chinese counterpart who had a brief stopover there. Momen received his Chinese counterpart upon his arrival at around 1:58am, a senior official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told UNB. Read More: Bangladesh 'pearl of Bay of Bengal, important country in South Asia': New Chinese envoy The two Foreign Ministers had a brief meeting at the VIP Lounge of the airport and discussed issues of mutual interest. Momen described the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Bangladesh in 2016 as a milestone but mentioned that many decisions in terms of investment are yet to be implemented. The foreign minister of Bangladesh also mentioned China’s involvement in a number of important development projects including the rail link of Padma Bridge. He also thanked the Chinese government for its support to Bangladesh during Covid-19 pandemic. The Chinese foreign minister invited Momen to visit Beijing at a mutually convenient time. Read More: Outgoing Chinese Ambassador Li Jiming hopes Rohingya repatriation will start next year In reply, Momen also invited his Chinese counterpart to come again for a longer stay. Foreign Minister Momen saw off his Chinese counterpart at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 2:50 am on Tuesday. Earlier, Momen told UNB that it was not an official visit to Bangladesh, but the Chinese foreign minister would make a stopover here on his way to another destination. Qin Gang, who until recently was ambassador to the US, has started his term with a weeklong trip to five African countries. To “deepen the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership”, Qin Gang will visit Ethiopia, Gabon, Angola, Benin, Egypt, the African Union Headquarters and the League of Arab States Headquarters upon invitation, from January 9 to 16, 2023, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a daily media briefing on Monday. Read More: No good news yet from Chinese side on Rohingya repatriation: Momen
Members of Coast Guard (CG) detained six Rohingya robbers with 14 foreign arms, 486 rounds of bullets and 20,000 pieces of Yaba pills from the estuary of Naf River and Bay of Bengal on Tuesday. Lieutenant Commandant Md Mohiuddin of the CG Teknaf station, at a press conference, said acting on a tip-off, they came to know that a group of the Rohingya robbers was taking preparations for committing robbery in the estuary of the Naf River and Bay of Bengal. Read more: 4 members of a gang of robbers arrested A team of the CG conducted a drive in the estuary and detained the Rohingya robbers with the arms, he said. With information revealed from the detainees another drive was also conducted at Kharer Island and several other arms and drugs were recovered, the CG officer said. In the primary interrogation, the detainees admitted that they had been involved with the robbery for a long time, he said, adding that they were residents of Ukhia and Teknaf camps. Read more: 9 ‘robbers’ arrested in Gazipur The Rohingyas set up a den at the isolated Kharer Island to carry out criminal activities smoothly to dodge the eyes of law enforcers, he added.
A second group in two days of weak and exhausted Rohingya Muslims landed on a beach in Indonesia’s northernmost province of Aceh on Monday after weeks at sea, officials said. At least 185 men, women and children disembarked from a rickety wooden boat at dusk on Ujong Pie beach at Muara Tiga, a coastal village in Aceh’s Pidie district, said local police chief Fauzi, who goes by a single name. “They are very weak because of dehydration and exhaustion after weeks at sea,” Fauzi said. A distressing video circulated widely in social media showed the 185 dehydrated and exhausted Rohingya, crumpled weakly and emaciated, many crying for help. READ: Urgently rescue boat carrying upto 200 Rohingyas: ASEAN parliamentarians urge member states, others The 83 men, 70 women and 32 children were transferred by military trucks to a school just before midnight on Monday from a village hall where they previously received help from residents, health workers and others. One of the refugees who spoke some Malay and identified himself as Rosyid, told The Associated Press that they left a camp in Bangladesh at the end of November and drifted on the open sea. He said at least “20 of us died aboard due to high waves and sick, and their bodies were thrown into the sea.” Chris Lewa, the director of the Arakan Project, which works in support of Myanmar’s Rohingya, confirmed on Tuesday that the boat that landed on Ujong Pie beach on Monday was from the group of 190 Rohingya who were reported by United Nations to be drifting in a small boat in the Andaman Sea for a month. She told AP by email that the arrivals were among four groups of Rohingya refugees that had left Cox’s Bazar district in Bangladesh late November by smaller boats to avoid detection by local coast guards before they were transferred onto four larger boats for their respective journeys. A Vietnamese oil ship rescued one of the boats with more than 150 people onboard off the coast of Myanmar on Dec. 8, but then towed it to shore after provide them with food and water, Lewa said. In Dec. 18, the second boat, carrying 104 people, was rescued by the Sri Lankan navy. Lewa said the captain of that boat last week sent a message to his relative who lives at one of the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar that the third boat may have sunk because he had received an “SOS call” from the third boat’s captain which was about to sink and asking him to transfer the passengers on his boat, but he refused as his overcrowded boat already had an engine problem and he feared that to transfer them would result in everyone sinking. READ: Vulnerable Rohingyas: US to consider resettlement recommendations from UNHCR The fourth boat “finally landed in northern part of Aceh, Indonesia, in late afternoon on Monday,” Lewa said, after weeks of her organization pleading with south and southeast Asian countries to help. The UNHCR on Friday urged countries to rescue the refugees, saying reports indicated they were in dire condition with insufficient food or water. “Many are women and children, with reports of up to 20 people dying on the unseaworthy vessel during the journey,” the agency said. Also in Christmas Day, another group of 58 Rohingya — all male, including 13 minors — arrived in Ladong village in Aceh Besar district. Azharul Husna, who heads the Aceh branch of KontraS, an Indonesian rights group, said Monday that the men in the group all carried UNHCR cards from refugee camps in Bangladesh and had left in search of a better life in Malaysia. Citing one of them, Husna said the 58 refugees left Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, where more than 700,000 Rohingya from Myanmar had fled in 2017, to work on plantations in Malaysia. Their boat was damaged and the engine failed, leaving them drifting at sea until they came ashore in Aceh. Myanmar security forces have been accused of mass rapes, killings and burning of thousands of homes belonging to Rohingya, sending them fleeing to Bangladesh and onward. Malaysia has been a common destination for many of the refugees arriving by boat, but they also have been detained in the country. Although neighboring Indonesia is not a signatory to the United Nations’ 1951 Refugee Convention, the UNHCR said that a 2016 presidential regulation provides a legal framework governing the treatment of refugees on boats in distress near Indonesia and helps them disembark.
Dozens of hungry and weak Rohingya Muslims were found on a beach in Indonesia’s northernmost province of Aceh on Sunday after weeks at sea, officials said. The group of 58 men arrived on Indrapatra beach at Ladong, a fishing village in Aceh Besar district, early Sunday, said local police chief Rolly Yuiza Away. Villagers who saw the group of ethnic Rohingya on a rickety wooden boat helped them to land and then reported their arrival to authorities, he said. “They look very weak from hunger and dehydration. Some of them are sick after a long and severe voyage at sea,” said Away, adding that the men received food and water from villagers and others as they waited for further instructions from immigration and local officials in Aceh. Read more: Urgently rescue boat carrying upto 200 Rohingyas: ASEAN parliamentarians urge member states, others At least three of the men were rushed to a health clinic for medical care, and others are also receiving various medical treatments, Away said. The United Nations and other groups on Friday urged countries in South Asia to rescue as many as 190 people believed to be Rohingya refugees aboard a small boat that has been adrift for several weeks in the Andaman Sea. “Reports indicate those onboard have now remained at sea for a month in dire conditions with insufficient food or water, without any efforts by States in the region to help save human lives,” the U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, said in a statement. “Many are women and children, with reports of up to 20 people dying on the unseaworthy vessel during the journey.” Away said it wasn’t clear where the group was traveling from or if they were part of the group of 190 Rohingya refugees that has been adrift in the Andaman Sea. But one of the men who spoke some Malay said they had been at sea for more than a month and had aimed to land in Malaysia to seek a better life and work there. More than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled from Buddhist-majority Myanmar to refugee camps in Bangladesh since August 2017, when the Myanmar military launched a clearance operation in response to attacks by a rebel group. Myanmar security forces have been accused of mass rapes, killings and the burning of thousands of homes. Groups of Rohingya have attempted to leave the crowded camps in Bangladesh and travel by sea in hazardous voyages to other Muslim-majority countries in the region. Read more: Very limited spaces offered for Rohingya resettlement: UNHCR Muslim-dominated Malaysia has been a common destination for the boats, and traffickers have promised the refugees a better life there. But many Rohingya refugees who land in Malaysia face detention. Although Indonesia is not a signatory to the United Nations’ 1951 Refugee Convention, the UNHCR said that a 2016 presidential regulation provides a national legal framework governing the treatment of refugees on boats in distress near Indonesia and to help them disembark. These provisions have been implemented for years, most recently last month when about 219 Rohingya refugees, including 63 women and 40 children, were rescued off the coast of North Aceh district aboard two rickety boats. “We urge the government of Indonesia to rescue the boats and allow them to safely disembark," Amnesty International Indonesia's executive director Usman Hamid said. “We also urge the Indonesian government to lead a regional initiative to resolve the refugee crisis.” On Thursday, the U.N. special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, urged governments in South and Southeast Asia “to immediately and urgently coordinate search and rescue for this boat and ensure safe disembarkation of those aboard before any further loss of life occurs.” “While many in the world are preparing to enjoy a holiday season and ring in a new year, boats bearing desperate Rohingya men, women and young children, are setting off on perilous journeys in unseaworthy vessels,” Andrews said in a statement.
UN Security Council adopts first-ever resolution on Myanmar; China, Russia and India abstain from voting
The United Nations Security Council has adopted its first-ever resolution on “situation in Myanmar”, placing an important focus on the Rohingya crisis and its sustainable solution. Referring to the ongoing political unrest in Myanmar, continuous deterioration of its democratic institutions and arbitrary detention of political leaders, the resolution, among others, urges for ending violence and inclusive political dialogue. As the penholder of the Myanmar situation in the Security Council, the United Kingdom tabled the resolution which was adopted by 12 votes in favour. While no members of the Security Council voted against or used veto power to block its adoption, China, Russia and India abstained from voting, according to the Bangladesh Permanent Mission in New York. Read More: US diplomat for ‘comprehensive approach’ to deal with Rohingya crisis In the context of multifaceted global challenges including Russia-Ukraine conflict, the resolution is a demonstration of the UN’s supreme body’s determination towards resolving the ongoing crisis in Myanmar. This resolution will further renew the attention of the global community towards the Rohingya crisis. Since the exodus of Rohingyas in Bangladesh in 2017, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina made the position of Bangladesh clear to the international community — that they must return to their homeland in Myanmar from their temporary shelter in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is now hosting more than 1.2 million Rohingyas out of humanitarian consideration. Read more: Rights group urges UN Security Council to impose binding arms embargo on Myanmar The resolution commends Bangladesh’s efforts for hosting and providing humanitarian support to the Rohingyas. It also recognizes the implications of the current political situation in Myanmar on the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of Rohingyas to Myanmar and on regional security. It underscores the need to address the root causes of the crisis in Rakhine State, and to create conditions necessary for the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of Rohingya refugees. The resolution also puts significant focus on ASEAN's role in implementing its Five Point Consensus agreed on in 2021. Read More: Requested US, UK, Japan to take Rohingyas from Bangladesh: FM As an immediate action, the resolution requests the UN Secretary-General and his Special Envoy on Myanmar to submit a report, on the possible support from UN on the implementation of ASEAN’s Five Point Consensus, by March 15, 2023 to the Security Council. The adoption of the resolution will serve as a first step to the regular discussion of the Security Council on Myanmar. It will also strengthen Bangladesh’s ongoing efforts towards sustainable solution to the Rohingya crisis. Bangladesh Permanent Mission in New York made "significant contribution" to the negotiations of the resolution, Bangladesh said. Read more: UN adopts resolution on human rights of Rohingya, other minorities in Myanmar Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York, Muhammad Abdul Muhith, held several bilateral meetings with the strategically important members of the Security Council and ensured that issues specific to Bangladesh’s interest were included in the resolution. This resolution bears the testimony of Bangladesh’s milestone success in multilateral efforts to resolve the Rohingya crisis.
Parliamentarians from Southeast Asia have urged ASEAN member states and other countries in the region to urgently rescue a boat carrying up to 200 Rohingya refugees, including women and children, which has reportedly been adrift off the coasts of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and India for weeks. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the boat has been adrift in high seas since late November, and dozens on board have already died during the journey, while survivors have no access to food, drinking water or medication. “We urgently call on ASEAN member states and other countries in the region to fulfill their humanitarian obligations and launch search and rescue operations for the boat if it enters their waters, and to allow for the proper disembarkation of the refugees. It is disgraceful that a boat filled with men, women, and children in grave danger has been allowed to remain adrift. Neglecting the people on the boat is nothing short of an affront to humanity,” said Eva Sundari, Board Member of ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR), and former member of the Indonesian House of Representatives. According to media reports and information from human rights organizations, two other boats carrying Rohingya refugees have been adrift in the past weeks. One, carrying 154 refugees, was rescued by a Vietnamese oil service vessel on December 8. They were handed over to the Myanmar navy. Read More: https://unb.com.bd/category/Bangladesh/very-limited-spaces-offered-for-rohingya-resettlement-unhcr/106307 Another, carrying 104 refugees, was rescued by the Sri Lanka navy on December 18 and disembarked at Kankesanturai Harbor. The Rohingyas have been suffering persecution in their country of origin, Myanmar, for decades. The overwhelming majority of them were rendered stateless in the early 1990s by the authorities, and have suffered the most serious human rights violations since at least the late seventies. In 2016 and 2017 they were the target of brutal military operations, displacing over 730,000 to neighbouring Bangladesh and for which the Myanmar army has been accused of genocide. In these desperate conditions, many of them put themselves at the hands of unscrupulous human smugglers to seek a better life in countries like Malaysia, in extremely dangerous journeys through the Andaman Sea. “In all likelihood, the delay in rescuing these boats has already caused untold suffering and loss of life. Any further delay is unconscionable. This neglect of Rohingya refugees stranded in the sea is nothing new, as it has been going on for years, and has resulted in hundreds, if not thousands, of deaths that could have been easily been prevented if the countries in the region fulfilled the most elementary humanitarian principles,” said Charles Santiago, Chairperson of APHR, and former member of Parliament from Malaysia. Read More: 16 Rohingya including children and women detained in Sreemangal APHR urged ASEAN to devise a comprehensive and coordinated regional response to the issue of refugees stranded at sea, in order to act effectively, and according to humanitarian principles, in such situations, as saving lives at sea must be a collective effort. But ASEAN should also address the root causes of the tragedy that befell the Rohingya for so many years, including putting pressure on the Myanmar authorities to restore their citizenship, and receiving the refugees currently living in camps in Bangladesh, APHR said on Tuesday. ASEAN should also help to hold the perpetrators of atrocities against the Rohingya people accountable, especially now that the army that launched the genocidal military operations against them in 2016 and 2017 has thrown Myanmar into chaos since staging an illegal coup d’état on February 1, 2021. “ASEAN and the international community at large have stood idly for too long as the Rohingya tragedy unfolded over the years. Those countries who claim to defend human rights have a moral obligation to address the root causes of the human rights crisis afflicting the Rohingya, or these humanitarian tragedies will only repeat again and again. ASEAN member states, as well as their partners in the region and beyond, must ensure that Myanmar restore the rights of the Rohingya people, end all discriminatory practices and holds those responsible for crimes against humanity to account,” said Kasit Piromya, APHR Board Member and former Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs.