Boat carrying Rohingya fleeing Myanmar capsizes, killing 16

May 23, 2022, 10:51 PM | Updated: May 24, 2022, 10:54 am
FILE - Rohingya refugees bathe at a hand water pump at Kutupalong refugee camp, where they have bee...

FILE - Rohingya refugees bathe at a hand water pump at Kutupalong refugee camp, where they have been living amid uncertainty over their future after they fled Myanmar to escape violence a year ago, in Bangladesh, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018. The number of people forced to flee conflict, violence, human rights violations and persecution has crossed the milestone of 100 million for the first time on record, propelled by the war in Ukraine and other deadly conflicts, The U.N. refugee agency said Monday, May 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri, File)

(AP Photo/Altaf Qadri, File)

BANGKOK (AP) — At least 16 people from Myanmar’s Rohingya minority have died after a storm capsized the boat they were traveling on to seek refuge in another country, officials and a recovery team member said Tuesday.

There were 35 survivors of Saturday’s accident that took place Saturday off Myanmar’s southwestern coast and four people were missing, the officials said.

UNHCR, the U.N.’s refugee agency, expressed shock and sadness about the accident in a statement and said at least 17 Rohingya, including children, had died.

The boat left the western state of Rakhine last Thursday and encountered bad weather two days later off Ayeyarwaddy Region on Myanmar’s southwestern coast, causing it to capsize, the statement said.

The Rohingya, a Muslim minority, have long been persecuted in Myanmar. More than 700,000 Rohingya have fled the country to neighboring Bangladesh since August 2017 to escape the brutal counterinsurgency campaign of Myanmar’s military following an attack by a Rohingya insurgent group in Rakhine State.

Myanmar’s government has denied accusations that security forces committed mass rapes and killings and burned thousands of homes, but the U.S. government recently labeled actions by the country’s military as genocide.

There are more than 100,000 Rohingya left in Myanmar, confined in squalid displacement camps, along with those living in crowded refugee camps in Bangladesh.

Groups of Rohingya from camps in both countries embark on hazardous voyages to the Muslim-majority countries of Malaysia and Indonesia to seek a better living.

“Some 630 Rohingya have attempted sea journeys across the Bay of Bengal from January to May 2022,” the UNHCR statement said, with women and children making up 60% of those trying to flee.

The statement added: “The risk of abuse at the hands of smugglers and the peril of the sea journey itself are both exacerbated during prolonged journeys, when a safe harbor for disembarkation cannot be found.”

An Ayeyarwaddy Region resident said the 16 bodies, including those of two young boys, were recovered near Pathein township, about 300 kilometers (180 miles) west of Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city. He spoke on condition of anonymity because Myanmar’s military government seeks to tightly control the flow of information.

A local official, who also requested anonymity for the same reason, said most of the 50 people on board the boat were men under 30 years old. He said the bodies were buried and that the 35 survivors were taken away by the security forces.

Maung Maung Than, a spokesperson for the Ayeyarwaddy Region government, confirmed that the accident happened but did not give further details.

“The latest tragedy shows once again the sense of desperation being felt by Rohingya in Myanmar and in the region,” Indrika Ratwatte, UNHCR’s director for Asia and the Pacific said in the agency’s statement. “It is shocking to see increasing numbers of children, women and men embarking on these dangerous journeys and eventually losing their lives.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)...
Associated Press

Fish and Wildlife shoots wrong wolf, more attacks confirmed

Wolves from two packs in northeast Washington state have attacked more cattle
12 hours ago
Associated Press

Closing prices for crude oil, gold and other commodities

Benchmark U.S. crude oil for November delivery rose $4.19 to $92.64 a barrel Friday. Brent crude for December delivery rose $3.50 to $97.92 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline for November delivery rose 5 cents to $2.73 a gallon. November heating oil rose 16 cents to $4.02 a gallon. November natural gas fell 22 cents to $6.75 […]
12 hours ago
FILE - Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine singing Stefania perform during the Grand Final of the Eurovis...
Associated Press

Liverpool to host 2023 Eurovision Song Contest for Ukraine

LONDON (AP) — The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will be staged in the English city of Liverpool, the BBC said Friday, after Britain was asked to hold the event on behalf of designated host country Ukraine. The birthplace of The Beatles beat Glasgow, Scotland, the other U.K. finalist. In all, seven British cities had applied […]
2 days ago
Snowbird William Wellema talks about his frustration at not being allowed on to the island to surve...
Associated Press

As search goes on, Floridians await OK to survey Ian’s wrath

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. (AP) — William Wellema has been living under a bridge for four days, waiting to get to Fort Myers Beach on Florida’s Estero Island to see if his vacation home survived Hurricane Ian. On Friday, he was beyond frustrated as he continued to await permission to drive across. “They’re saying it’s […]
2 days ago
FILE - Nobel Commitee chairman Thorbjorn Jagland sits next to an empty chair with the Nobel Peace P...
Associated Press

Bialiatski joins small group of jailed Nobel Peace laureates

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Belarussian pro-democracy campaigner Ales Bialiatski, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with human rights groups in Russia and Ukraine, is the fourth person in the 121-year history of the Nobel Prizes to receive the award while in prison or detention. Bialiatski, 60, who founded the non-governmental organization Human Rights Center Viasna, was […]
2 days ago
Singer Kesha appears at the premiere of the film "Studio 666," in Los Angeles on Feb. 16, 2022, lef...
Associated Press

Judge eyes summer trial in Kesha’s legal clash with Dr. Luke

NEW YORK (AP) — After almost a decade, the legal fight between pop singer Kesha and producer Dr. Luke is headed to trial in New York next summer, a judge said Friday. Manhattan Judge Jennifer Schecter said jury selection could start in either late June or early July, asking the two sides to choose and […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Boat carrying Rohingya fleeing Myanmar capsizes, killing 16