Canada must continue to target Myanmar's human-rights abusers, Bob Rae says

Malaysia steps up patrols in waters off Langkawi amid reports of Rohingya arrival
Rohingya boat marks new exodus
Author

05 April, 2018

A panel advising Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi on the Rakhine crisis said Tuesday it was pleased with some developments, but rights groups cautioned members against being used to cover up alleged atrocities. Soros, who lived through the Nazi occupation and fled communism in Hungary, has always been committed to the needs of refugees.

Close to 700,000 Rohingya crossed into Bangladesh since late August 2017 as they fled a brutal crackdown by Myanmar's military following attacks by the insurgent group Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA).

The boat had stopped at an island in southern Thailand on Saturday after a storm, with officials there saying the refugees were heading to Malaysia.

Those sources also say that that the special envoy's report addresses "strong signals" that crimes against humanity have been committed in the country.

While the origin of the Rohingya has not be determined, Krabi police chief Col. Pattanachak Chakrabhan said most of the boat's occupants likely came from Myanmar's Rakhine state and had planned to take refuge in Malaysia.

In May 2015, human traffickers abandoned boats at sea carrying thousands of Rohingya and Bangladeshi survivors of trafficking.

Commenting on the issue, Krabi governor Pol Lt Col ML Kittibodee Prawit said Thai authorities complied with the state policy of not accepting boats with migrants.

The announcement about the Myanmar official's visit came as Malaysian authorities said they had stepped up patrols in the Malacca Strait and Andaman Sea to intercept a boat believed to be carrying dozens of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar.

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Myanmar has agreed to a visit by the United Nations Security Council after months of resistance, but it remains unclear whether ambassadors will be allowed to go to Rakhine state, the body's president said.

Customary worldwide law as well as Article 9 of the global Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Thailand is a state party, protects the right to liberty.

During a joint meeting with the Bangladeshi foreign affairs and home ministers in Dhaka on October 1, Swe expressed his country's willingness to take back the Rohingya refugees.

Kyaw Tint Swe, Myanmar's union minister in charge of the State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi's Office, was the first official to visit Dhaka since the Rohingya refugee crisis began a year ago.

In the meantime, Rae says Canada needs to do more help refugees, including those in the region and those who might be able to find sanctuary elsewhere, and it needs to commit to a longer-term humanitarian strategy for the region, as it has in Syria and Iraq.

When he was appointed, Rae said his task would be to try and hear from all sides of the violence and to gather facts to shape a plan for how Canada and other countries should work to end the violence that has now displaced half a million Rohingya into neighbouring Bangladesh, with numerous women who have fled reporting rape and sexual violence by security forces.

Around 400 families have already been relocated from low-lying areas and the UNHCR has begun engineering work to protect refugee camps from the region's intense monsoon season and tropical cyclones.

The report also suggests the federal government could target more of Myanmar's military leaders under its new Magnitsky Act that seeks to isolate human rights abusers by freezing assets and blocking travel.


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