President Obama, ‘If You Were a Rohingya…”

A Thai attendee at a recent Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative event at the White House asked President Obama the following question: “If you were a Rohinya, which country would you prefer to live in, and why?” Now, the question drew snickers, because it’s a bit odd to ask the world’s most powerful man what […]

Anasuya’s New Documentary on Myanmar’s Rohingya People

I’m proud to share a documentary produced by Anasuya Sanyal — aka my amazing wife — that recently aired on Singapore’s Channel NewsAsia. It’s about the struggles faced by the Rohingya people of Myanmar and a controversial government program designed to offer them citizenship. The show is called “Between Two Worlds,” and is embedded above […]

BBC: Thai Officials Reportedly Sold Rohingya Refugees to Human Traffickers

Here’s the BBC’s video report and text piece. Parts of the story seem to have first appeared in Phuket Wan last week. Here’s a Bangkok Post story. Reuters and the AP also have stories. And Saksith Saiyasombut has a post at Asian Correspondent summarizing the news. (Image: BBC.)

Rohingya on CNN’s “World’s Untold Stories”

CNN will air an episode beginning tonight (Tues., Feb. 24) of “World’s Untold Stories” dedicated to the Rohingya abuse issue. From CNN.com: Myanmar’s Rohingya Minority They are an impoverished and persecuted minority living in a remote part of one of the world’s most repressive nations. And they are risking their lives to leave. Next week’s […]

Angelina Jolie: Thailand should aid Rohingya refugees

AP: “Jolie asks Thailand to help Burmese refugees” Angelina Jolie has called on Thailand’s government to give more freedom to tens of thousands of Burmese refugees it has kept locked inside camps for up to 20 years. The Academy Award-winning actress and goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Refugee Agency visited Thailand’s Ban Mai Nai Soi […]

Rohingya rescued off Indonesia

Here’s a new Rohingya story from the New York Times: “Burmese Refugees Rescued at Sea” JAKARTA, Indonesia — Dozens of refugees from Myanmar, rescued by the Indonesian Navy after drifting aboard a wooden boat at sea for almost three weeks, are receiving treatment at a hospital in Aceh, on the northern tip of Sumatra, Indonesian […]

Thai media coverage of the Rohingya refugee issue

It’s interesting to note that the Rohingya boat people story is receiving scant coverage in the Thai media. This despite many stories in the international press that have drawn attention to the accusations over the last week. And yesterday, a CNN investigative report (which I mentioned here) showed new images that seem to confirm that […]

Burmese refugee abuse claims: new photos from CNN

CNN has obtained new photos and other information that seem to substantiate claims that the Thai military mistreated Burmese refugees. One image (see the CNN link below) shows what appears to be a Thai navy vessel dragging a boatload of the men out into open water, where their craft was cut adrift. CNN‘s Dan Rivers: […]

Thai navy accused of forcing boat people back to sea

The big story in Thailand at the moment involves accusations that the Thai navy intercepted hundreds of boat people and forced them back out to sea with little food or water. The refugees were Rohingya — Muslims from Western Myanmar (Burma). Here’s a recent AFP story: “Thailand accused of returning asylum-seekers to sea to die” […]