Rohingya Boatpeople Sentenced on Immigration Charges

In a similar incident in 2008, a group of boatpeople were detained on the Thai island of Koh Sai Baed. (PHOTO: Reuters)

In a similar incident in 2008, a group of boatpeople were detained on the Thai island of Koh Sai Baed. (Photo: Reuters)

Eighty-two Rohingya boatpeople have been sentenced to one year in prison by a court in Ye Township, Mon State, charged with violating immigration laws after they were rescued at sea last month by Mon fishermen while sailing to Malaysia.

The 82 were sentenced on June 19 by a township court in Ye following their arrest in Tavoy [Dawei] by Burmese marine authorities. They were apprehended in Tavoy only after they had attempted one more time to sail to Malaysia following their rescue in Ye Township, some 150 km farther north on the Mon coast.

May 25 article here: http://www.irrawaddy.com/archives/5072

“Each of them was sentenced for one year for violating an immigration law, which does not allow them to travel,” said a police officer in Ye who spoke to The Irrawaddy by phone on Friday.

He said that of the 84 people that had been picked up by marine authorities, only two had not been imprisoned—because they were children.

“The boatpeople are all currently being held in Moulmein Prison where they were sent on Tuesday,” said the policeman.

According to NGO the Arakan Project, 108 ethnic Rohingyas—or “Bengalis” as the Burman press prefers to call them—set sail from Sabrang in Bangladesh on May 10. Among the passengers was a woman with her two children who was trying to join her husband already living in Malaysia.

It is unknown whether the boatpeople originally set off from western Burma and stopped in Sabrang on their intended journey to Malaysia.

They were rescued in the Andaman Sea by Mon fishermen who spotted their boat in distress with engine failure. The fishermen towed them to Aim Dein village in Ye Township where they were fed and given water by local villagers.

Although they could not speak Burmese, the boatpeople were apparently able to convey to Mon locals that many of their fellow passengers had died at sea from disease or starvation, and their bodies had been dropped overboard.

Having repaired the engine on their boat, the 84 remaining people (originally reported as 85)—only one of whom is a woman—departed from Aim Dein on May 23, and it is assumed but not confirmed that they were picked up and detained some days later off the coast of Tavoy.

According to the policeman who spoke to The Irrawaddy, the Tavoy authorities then sent all the boatpeople by land back to Ye where they faced charges. They were detained at a local football stadium because there was not enough space in the local jail. On June 19 they were sentenced in absentia while being held at the stadium, and were then moved to Moulmein for incarceration.

The two children have been separated from their family or families and are currently being held in Thae Koung village in Kawzar Township, south of Ye, according to a local Mon Buddhist monk.

“It is unacceptable that these boatpeople are sentenced on immigration charges for being caught in their own country,” said Chris Lewa, the director of Arakan Project. “This is a result of statelessness and one of the root causes to the recent violence that needs to be urgently addressed.”

Maung Kyaw Nu, the president of the Burmese Rohingya Association of Thailand, appealed last month to Burmese MPs and to opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to assist the almost 2 million Rohingya living in Burma and elsewhere.

Rohingya people perennially leave their homes and families in Burma and Bangladesh where they face extreme discrimination and are denied citizenship.

The Muslim Rohingya often find they have little alternative but to try to travel illegally across the Andaman Sea to try to find work in Thailand, Malaysia or another third country.

They are frequently described by human rights groups as “one of the most persecuted people in the world.”

The Rohingya issue drew international attention in 2009 when the Thai military was accused of intercepting boatloads of Rohingyas, sabotaging their vessels, and abandoning them at sea.

Earlier this month, a series of deadly incidents led to riots and sectarian violence in Arakan State between ethnic Rohingyas and Buddhist Arakanese. Many Rohingyas have subsequently attempted to cross the border into Bangladesh, but those caught have been sent back to Burma.


40 Responses to Rohingya Boatpeople Sentenced on Immigration Charges

  1. OH! why took burden? Just fix engine, give food and water and tow the boat to near Malaysia and leave them. They would be asking religious right in Jail to pray 24/7. Navy made very bad move.

  2. No Rohinga in History

    • WHO ARE THE ROHINGYA AND WHAT CAN BE DONE TO PREVENT THEIR GENOCIDE?
      The existence of the Rooinga (English form of Rohingya) people in Arakan (Rakhine) State was historically documented in a late 18th century report published by the British, Francis Buchanan-Hamilton. In his 1799 article “A Comparative Vocabulary of Some of the Languages Spoken in the Burma Empire,” Buchanan-Hamilton stated: “I shall now add three dialects, spoken in the Burma Empire, but evidently derived from the language of the Hindu nation. The first is that spoken by the Mohammedans, who have long settled in Arakan, and who call themselves Rooinga, or natives of Arakan” (http://www.scribd.com/doc/99047980/1799-Rohingya-or-Rooinga-Name-in-Fifth-Volume-of-A-Comparative-Vocabulary-of-Some-of-the-Languages-Spoken-in-the-Burma-Empire). This is the unbiased historical evidence that the Rohingya or Rooinga had lived in Arakan (Rakhine) State before 1824, and therefore, they are  one of the original races of the Union of Myanmar. Henceforth, it must be noted that the Rohingya ARE NOT Bangalis, who recently illegally penetrated Myanmar after its independence from the UK in 1948, and that the term Rohingya was NOT INVENTED by Bangali immigrants in 1950s. The term Rohingya was used in 1799 by the natives of Arakan, who were of Mohammedan (or Islamic) faith.

      According to a scientific discovery published in the prestigious magazine,
      Science on Oct 15th, 1999 (volume 286(5439): pages 528-30), the modern human beings originated in Myanmar about 45 million years ago. Thus, the Rohingya and the Bangali races are derivatives of the Rakhine and Myanmar races; in other words they are cousins of each other. Therefore, the Rohingya are not illegal immigrants of Myanmar, but are one of the original races of Myanmar. In other words, the Rohingya did not migrate illegally from Bangladesh into Myanmar, but the Bangalis migrated out of Myanmar into present-day Bangladesh. Thus the Bangalis are as well an original race of Myanmar, even though they migrated west to present-day Bangladesh millions of years ago.

      The international community has a responsibility to protect the Rohingya from systematic state-sponsored genocide by the Rakhine and the Maynmarese races. Available evidence indicates that the Rohingya are the most persecuted minority (UN report). The Rohingya are the unfortunate victims of the brutal aggression of the Rakhine and Myanmar regime.To falsely associate them with extremism and terrorism is not only preposterous, but amounts to moral irresponsibility and ethical crime. In stead of raising concern and awareness about the severe abuses of Myanmar military regime, chastising the Rohingya for their sufferings is inhumane. They have been living in Arakan (or Rakhine) State since 8th century. They were Burmese citizens at the birth of the Union of Burma on 4th of Jan 1948. Since 1982 they have been illegally deprived of their lawful citizenship by Ne Win’s military regime. In Myanmar, the Rohingya have no freedom of speech, worship, movement or marriage. They have no access to education or healthcare. Thus we, the civilized world, who are privileged to enjoy these freedoms, must intervene to prevent them from becoming extinct. We must speak up and TAKE MEANINGFUL ACTION for restoring the lawful Myanmar Citizenship without any prejudice  to the Rohingya, granting them basic human rights and civil liberties, similar to those granted by the Constitution of the United States of America to all its Citizens without any discrimination based on race, religion, color or national origin.

  3. Chris Lewa, in 1940s, they massacred around 20,000 Rakhine. It was well documented in History. Is it because of their statelessness or their hostility towards the native Rakhine?

    • Burmen has killed tens of thousands of shans, kachins, karens, mons and many other ethnicities. I can keep going on. Can the minorities now believe Burmen’s vain promise for peaceful co-existence?

      is it because burmen over-procreate and exhaust the resources in their own territories and have to rob the lands of less-populated areas of the ethnic minorities? i’m just using your own logic.

  4. What should it be with regarding with their citizenship? Are they or they are not?

    DASSK: I do not know because when you talk about the rohingya, we are not quite sure who you are talking about. As …I said there is a problem about who we are referring to. There is someone who say that those people who claim to be rohingya are not the ones who are actually native to Burma. But who are just come over recently from Bangladesh.

  5. It is regrettable that the Rahingya muslims are treated in such a way in this day and age. It is even more regrettable that the Bangladeshi government decided to send the refugees back to their homeland to face persecution and perhaps death. Bangladeshi government has done something cruel and should be condemned for this kind of action against all norms of international conduct.

    • To Sheikh Rahman,
      I am not sure whether you are a religious scholar or a wealthy Arab sheikh. If the Bangladeshi government showed no mercy on those people who speak same language,bare the same culture and follow the same religion, how can some one expect to show sympathy from the government of different race and religion. But we can persuade the local public and the members of local authorities to treat them fairly on humanitarian ground as the problem is a chronicle and complicated one.

  6. I have lost my respect for Aung San Su Kyi for side stepping the issue on the persecution of the Rohingyas.

    • @ mandy swe, What makes you think that ASSK should have all the answers you might like to hear ? Do you think she is a GOD? This Rohingya issue had been a big problem before ASSK has come into the political scenes of Burma. This is something that the previous Governments of Bangladesh and Burma should have sorted out together but never did for decades. Only that, a handful of people like you and SPDC members have the same view, anyway. The REST OF THE WORLD have ENORMOUS RESPECT FOR DAW AUNG SAN SUU KYI for her ……. “exceptionally fair views and selfless struggle” for Democracy in Burma.

      • i don’t think Mandy Swe suggests that DASSK should provide solution for this issue. But at least, she should have not made phony comments when asked about the plights of rohingyas. burmese within and without burma look up to her as the hope to bring justice an fairness to their misgivings. if you think, and DASSK think, that burmese treatment toward the rohingya are fair and just, you deserve to be ruled by the likes of than shwe, ne win and khin nyunt. because those dictators treated burmese the way rohingya are being treated now.

    • I am glad people who support Rohingyas stop respecting Suu Kyi

    • You have lost the respect of many Myanmar people.

    • can’t agree more.

  7. wow this is a funny world! some rich burmese people living as refugee in some western countries but real poor people got in jail for finding somewhere to live.

    • @ ZULU (but real poor people got in jail for finding somewhere to live.) Yes , some poor people of Bangladesh should not leave their country and try to live in others country, illegally , in the first place.

  8. Dear Irrawaddy
    I speak for many of us who resent the media using the term “ethnic Rohingya”. They are in no way ethnic to us. By using this term you offer them the legitimacy of claim.
    How ever did The Irrawaddy come to use terms to legitimize their ludicrous claims? Are you not one of us?
    Don’t you see? These people don’t even speak our language. They speak a dialect of Bangladesh, wear the attire of Bangladesh, follow the customs and traditions of Bangladesh and follow the same religion as Bangladesh. And they all look like the people of Bangladesh.
    There is nothing in common with us and there is everything in common with Bangladesh.
    So let just face the fact and accept that they are Bengalis.

    • @Sidney: the rich chinese (crooks) who basically rule “your” country don’t speak your language either, nor do they share “your” culture. they laugh with “your” people 24/7. they exploit “your” resources and steal “your” women as cheap breading-machines. of course you Sidney don’t go fight these powerful people, only the brave do. the cowards of this world post stupid comments on web-forums, safely from behind their (lemme guess, chinese?) pc.

      dear sidney, like 95% of the people in “your” country, you simply have NO idea. you cannot understand the complexity of “your” country because you never learned critical and analytical thinking. you are the creation of the system you live in. a system of hate, desinformation, oppresion (of all people). a system that will never change as long as there are frustrated, hate-spreading people like yourself. what comes around goes around.

      i’ve said it many times before. the days there are NO “bengalis” left in Myanmar, a new group of scaopegoats will pay the bill. in the meanwhile i’ll continue to visit “your” country, visit intelligent friends in each state and region, including many places you’ve never been. the only way to understand a country is to study its history and to travel and explore it, meeting *different* people (there is no such thing as different RACE) without prejudices. every true buddhist knows that.

      • Control, so you have the supremacy of possessing the critical and analytical thinking required to understand our country, eh?
        And you have all the ideas and understand the complexities of our nation and our people.
        95% of our people do not meet your supremist view and have NO idea, eh?
        You probably are just another bigot from a western country who is trying to impose your views on another nation.
        White man taking slaves from Africa, later on with social problems down the years, forced sterilization of black women.
        In 2008 alone, the US deported about 350,000 foreign nationals out of which more than 70% were Mexicans that came over the border.
        And more than half a million of stateless people in Europe?
        You guys have your own problems and yet butt into ours and voicing your self righteous minds on us.
        If you don’t like what you see in my country, don’t come again.
        And oh, who we allow to come in to our country who we don’t is none of your business.

        • And FYI, I have been to all 7 states and 7 divisions, making a total of 135 towns in my country repeatedly, including the many places which you don’t have access to!

  9. Since they live in Burma for so so many years, they are eligible to be granted full citizen of Myanmar. They can live every where within Burma. They may be too heavy for Arakan, then, they can voluntary go to other parts of Burma as they wish, The Government must help them in voluntary re-settlements. One Rohinger village to one district inside Burma suggested. They are not Bengalis, they should be called Myanmar Rohingya.

    • Dream on, Uraw Gam.
      If you are one of them, you or any of your kind are NOT welcome in our country. Your own country despise you, they have cast you out like a leper. They don’t want you back. Why?
      Because your loyalty and your national spirit are questionable. You have deserted your homeland in search of greener pastures. You guys are just economic refugees, since day one.
      And now you lay claim to our country? Go every where freely? Ha! And multiply yourselves with your self righteous religious right to take four wives? Give you the right to multiply yourselves every year by 4?
      What a national nightmare!

  10. “It is unacceptable that these boatpeople are sentenced on immigration charges for being caught in their own country,” said Chris Lewa, the director of Arakan Project. “This is a result of statelessness and one of the root causes to the recent violence that needs to be urgently addressed.”

    Dear Chris,
    It is a good thing to show loving kindness for all creatures. It is very Buddhist of you.
    Before everything, have you ever considered why the boat-people are stateless as you say.
    It is because they left their own state and have stolen into a second in the first instance. They had betrayed their country and fellow countrymen by deserting them and not toiling the hardships together with camaraderie. They have stole into a second country which they feel is much easier to make a living. They are known to be perpetually going after better things. Money and women. Why is it that they are all males on the boat when they were nabbed? Where are the women, their wives? Back home? Those days about half of Vietnam boat people were women, because Vietnam man took their wives and children along with them. More commendable.
    There is hope and ray of democracy in Burma now [thanks to ASSK, NLD and all those who had led the struggle]. We are seeing developments. A lot are going back to Burma. At such a time, why are they trying to leave? What is the intention? To create political suspicions to Burma?
    We have hardship in Union of Myanmar, but have you ever heard of Burmese boat people the way you see with Rohingyars. This is what the Burmese people called “Union Spirit”. Where is the Union spirit in Rohingyars.
    Have you really clarified that the “boat-people” under discussion are caught in their own country? Have you clarified that they have valid Burmese national registrations for you to say they are “caught in their own country”? Do they have valid passport to leave the country? A US citizen could not leave its shores without a passport. If you are in UK without a passport and a visa what will they do to you. Present you to The Queen or sent to The Towers?
    The laws of The Union of Myanmar required that a person must have a “D” form in hand to leave the country. It has to be presented at the point of embarkation. If you leave without one you are breaking the law. Does the boat people have “D” forms?
    To get a “D’ form one have to settle tax in advance. Tax evasion is one of the biggest crime in every country. If you are an US citizen you will be most careful that you do not evade tax. Have the boat people settled that issue? Have they got papers that they are tax exempted?
    Laws in Union of Myanmar are not unacceptable; Chris what you wrote and what you stand for is unacceptable.
    If you think you are a compassionate person why don’t you ask their country of origin to open the doors for their countrymen, the way The United State is doing.
    We in Burma take the Burmese Muslims as our own brothers. U Rashid, U Razak, Pali Professor U Ko Ko [Mandalay] were Burmese. Their children are our brothers. These people have traditions. Our fathers were together in their struggle for independence. Some Burmese Muslims were even taken just as Burmese. A lot of people in Burma do not even know that Maung Maung Tar, a famous movie actor, is a Burmese Muslim. He wears the Burmese military uniform with pride. They were Burmese first. There was no discrimination. Present day Burmese Muslims like ENT U Thein Maung, Surgeon U Ko Win, Psychiatrist U Ko, the late Director of Health U Myo Tint are decent Burmans. They are proud to be Burmans and we are proud of them.
    Burma a small and [still] poor country have to be careful of who comes who goes and how much, or we might be having separatists like in Philippines, Southern Thailand, Nigeria and the likes. Do you think Burma could afford it, Chris? Do you think Burma want it and is asking for one? Are to trying to give us one or start one?
    If you are writing in Irrawaddy we prefer that you are a Burma sympathizer.
    Arakans are Burmese. Burmese and Arakans have been one. ICS U Kyaw Khine [Financial Commissioner], Dr Saw Mra Aung [Consultant Physician], Dr Rai Mra, Dr. Kyaw Tin [UN Consultant for Leprosy] are examples of famous Arakans and they had been very proud to be Burmese and have Burmese wives.
    Irrawaddy should be more responsible in what it publish too. Irrawaddy is the blood of Burma and its population. All along I have been living with the idea that Irrawaddy news magazine stand with the Burmese and its democratization. If you want to stand for another country and publish what you want you may do so for it is your right. But I suggest you might as well use another name.
    This blog does not mean that the blogger is not sympathetic to the plight of minorities. It has to be done according to the laws.
    Best wishes,
    htinaung

    • Well said, Dr Htin Aung.
      These are specific issues that warrant their prohibition, on top of the fact that they are not an ethnic race of Myanmar.

    • @Dr Htin Aung: please give us a break with your “official” d-form blah-blah. so many chinese (crooks) *BUY* burmese id-cards (and passports!!) for little money, in no time (ever visited Muse?). they don’t speak a single word burmese but can travel the country without restrictions in order to look for “opportunities”. myanmar is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. it’s not about the law, it’s about money. on my last journey, less than a month ago, an *official* told me i could NOT go to a certain restricted area and joked: “unfortunately you are not chinese”.

      in addition, no offense intended, everybody with a bit of cash and connections can buy a Dr title in myanmar too. i rest my case.

  11. The problem is the Bangladeshi government delibrate ignorance of Rohingya or Bengali plight which now encroached too much into Burmese national wellbeing. The culprit behind all these mess up is Bangladeshi government as they used them as a pawn to bargain Burmese border dispute. There are some similar Bengalis inside Burma whose caes are yet to be debated. However the recent floating Rohingyas in Asian seas are just victims of Bangla dirty politics.

  12. to deny a human being of their citizenship is just like telling them to find a new planet to live…

  13. To ZULU, WoW! This is a funny world! Genuine Burmese tribes Kachin,Chin,Kayin, Shan, etc… are living in neighbouring countries as refugees in very poor condition and illegal immigrant, different language,cultural,religion,Rohingya Bengli are living on Burma Soil and rape,kill, arson on Burma Soil. This is a very serious Threat. This is an Invasion!

  14. If a person is really a human being he or she has to think that those claim themself as “Rohingya” to be treated as humanbeing. If a humanbeing not treats another humanbeing is an animal minded person.
    So this is cilivized peoples world must have kindness to each other.
    Why Myanmar Government allowed them to vote 2010 election? The immigration ministrry doese not consider the fact, just because of their faith of these Muslims peoples accept Islam become victim, if so it is totally unjust and violate human rights. Now killing these peoples is genocide so that UN and Supper should frame the case and send it to International Court of Justice ( ICJ.

    Again, Rohingyas boat peoples were arrested within the territory of Burma, why you have to put them jail which is unacceptable as per UN declaration. Arakan genecide will lead to a very bad situation in Burma sooner or later. Just wait and see.

  15. Apart from accusations and condemnations which serve simply to further minimize the chance of resolution of this immense humanitarian problem, there is sadly NO readily available writings and description of the lives of the Rohingyya people, their leaders, the relationship between them, the composition and relationship of their advocates and other influences as well as their TRUE desires.

    Also of course the military is totally dependable to ALWAYS tell lies on any and all occasions.

    Burmese themselves live all their lives in rumours and false information.

    But even though at least the vocal crowd is constantly showing signs of intense chauvinism and racism aping the military, once pariah now international poster boys along with their cheerleader, most would be reasonable and use cool head faced with genuine facts on the ground.

    It is incumbent upon their advocates to present unbiased, on the ground description of the daily lives of the people. Simply piling blames or putting evidence solely for the sake of condemnation has not achieved any thing in the last half century.

  16. Irrawaddy.. r u making this mistake purposely?

    Read this VOA news.. and tell me again they r Rohingyas..

    http://www.voanews.com/burmese/news/–06_22_12_my-news-burma——-160032675.html

    I think you have well calculated the consequences to our country if you call them Rohingyas.

    Now u achieved your motive..

    Your incorrect news has spread the world while you are counting the money you received for your help.

  17. the picture Irrawaddy uses for this news article is Irreverent. I wonder why Irrawaddy use this 2008 photos.

  18. I think a person, big or small, has the right to his or her own decision as to what, how and when to say what he or she must say. Don’t you?
    A person is no god to see through every thing without a proper collection and digestion of relevant data. Give the Lady time. She will come with an answer.

  19. The author has made poor analysis.

    The statement made by the author “If 800,000 of the poorest people (what you called their invented name Rohingyas) in a country infringed upon its sovereignty, then the Burmese migrants in Thailand have surely conquered that Kingdom several times over” did not consider the fact that almost all or most Burmese migrants in Thailand have not will not claim for Thai citizenship; they all want to come back to Burma or Myanmar one day when the conditions back in Burma improve in contrast to these Bengali or Rohingya illegal immigrants or people, who want to claim citizenship or legal resident status in Burma. Burma is already a very poor country even poorer than Bangladesh (the country of origin of these Bengali immigrants) in terms of per capita GDP income. Burma must give priorities and provide resources first to millions of current Burmese citizens, both Buddhists and non-Buddhists, who have had to live in very poor unsanitary conditions without adequate food, water, and electricity for decades.

    There are so many millions of illegal and legal immigrants in many countries such as US, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark France, and Malaysia, where legal and illegal Muslim, Hispanic, and other immigrants applied for and have not received citizenship of these countries. Burma is no different from these countries.

    Citizenship law is made and must be decided by the Burmese people not by NGOs, UN, or other nations.

  20. How to verify that these people are from Arakan State of Burma. Many human rights organisations as well as their advocates such Chris are very quick to jump into the ridiculous conclusion that these people are from Arakan. They are always trying to lump Muslim people from Bangla together with the term “Rohengers”. The term “Arakan Project” is very frightening to me. I sense many hidden agendas are there under this name.

    All human rights organisations are creating an added problem to Arakan’s already fragile situation. They are fuelling more tensions amoung us. They are big part of this problems. Trouble-makers!

    Our national interest, national integrity, national survival and etc are above all else things.

  21. History is history, past is past, now how to sart dialogue and iterfaith discussion. No body in the world come to this wrold automatically. Whole world belong to all humanbeings. boundry and jurisdiction make by humanbeing. Do you know that Sitwe Market belongs to Mr. Sultan Mahmood ( late ) former Minister of Health, he was also member of legislative council during British rule. Why that time no riot between two groups Muslims and Buddhist in Arakan? Now riot is creating by those decendents of who run away from the land of Arakan to East Bangal of India during Burmese invasion in 17th century. In Arakanese language they are called “Anaug-Thar”, mostly they came from Awah-Kyunt, now Bangaldesh and claiming themself as Arakanese, actually not native Arakanese, but decendents of Arakanese residing at Bangladesh ” Awah-Kyunt ” Anaug Thar Rakhine.

  22. Point 1: there is no side stepping of the Rohingya question by DASSK. She has given an explicit answer to this issue on 22-6-2012 in London at her meeting with Myanmars abroad. Please look up among overseas media reports.
    Point 2:in the same meeting she elaborated on the question of throngs of Myanmars abroad, particularly those in neighboring countries. There she has said people who love his or her own mother country would have to respect and be grateful to the host countries, and be honorable.
    In fact Myanmars do not claim nativity to their host countries; Most, if not allm want to come back home asa the political and economic situations in Myanmar settle down. I say Myanmars are home-loving people, having plenty of food to eat and lots of space to live in and move about. And lots of Buddhist shrines and monasteries for worship.
    Rohingya question is a thong in the flesh, needing time, multiple consultations and negotiations, patience and, above all else, intelligence, not racism and hate. Mind you, though, common men would react to insults, prompts and transgression without hesitation: only good and effective leadership can control that native behavior.

  23. All of Myanmar citizens , not only Rakhine but also Kachin, Kayar, Kayin,Chin,Burma and so on……. denied Rohingya as our citizens. That’s all…why you ( NOT Myanmar ethics group and also not native born ) say that they are from Myanmar. Awesome!!!! And also funny.

  24. These are people trying to live in, or escape from a land which denies them citizenship, decent employment, or any of the vestiges of normal life. We label them, re-label them, argue about them, classify them, insult them, arrest them, categorize them, incarcerate them, relocate them….I could go on. Can we please recognize them as individuals worthy of recognition a human beings? The government of the Union of Myanmar is at fault here. It has denied people citizenship in the land in which they were born. It amended its constitution to do so, claiming falsely that they are foreign. They’re not foreign. They’re citizens of Myanmar. Myanmar, ruled by an elite clique with the power to kill those they dislike and enrich those they favor. This is the problem. Not the Rohingya.

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