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    63 Rohingya Muslims found adrift off Indonesia coast

    124 Rohingya
    Rescued sailing adrift in Indonesian waters

    March 01, 2013 

    Sixty-three Rohingya Muslims,
    including 23 children, fleeing the violence in Myanmar have been found adrift
    in a wooden boat in western Indonesia, in the second such event this week.

    Indonesia police said on Friday that the vessel was found by fishermen
    with no engine while drifting off the eastern coast of Sumatra island near Aceh
    “Fishermen found the boat with 63 Rohingya late Thursday afternoon
    around 160 kilometers (100 miles) from the coastal town of Idi Rayeuk. They
    then towed the boat to shore,” provincial police chief Muhajir said. 
    “All we know is they are from Myanmar. We don’t know where exactly
    the boat sailed from as they’re too tired and hungry to be interviewed and
    we’re having problems communicating,” he added. 
    The Rohingya asylum seekers were sent to an immigration office in the
    nearby Langsa town, Muhajir said, adding that they would be transferred to a
    detention centre. 
    On Tuesday, Indonesian fishermen also rescued 121 Rohingya Muslims,
    including six women and two children under the age of five, about 25 kilometers
    north off the coast Aceh Province.
    One of the survivors reportedly said that Thailand authorities had shot
    at them and taken their food and petrol supplies as they passed Thailand’s
    Recently, another boat was found off Sri Lanka’s coast, with 33
    dehydrated Rohingya refugees and 97 dead. The surviving passengers said Thai
    military had taken the boat’s engine and left them to float at sea for 25 days
    without water and food before being rescued. 
    “Considering the situation in Myanmar and Thailand, we’re expecting
    to find more Rohingya in boats around here,” Muhajir also said. 
    The UN High Commissioner for Refugee has voiced concern over the
    increasing number of Rohingya deaths at sea. The international body also urged
    Myanmar government to “promote reconciliation and economic development in
    Rakhine state, pursue practical measures to ensure basic rights so that the
    Rohingya can lead normal lives where they are, and grant them access to
    Myanmar’s government refuses to recognize Rohingya Muslims as citizens
    and labels the minority of about 800,000 as “illegal” immigrants from
    neighboring Bangladesh, which has shown no willingness to help the
    More than 100,000 Rohingyas have been displaced since the sectarian
    violence broke out in June, according to the UN. Rohingya Muslims have faced
    torture, neglect, and repression in Myanmar for many years.