Indonesian fishermen on Friday rescued 76 Rohingya Muslims stranded off the coast of Indonesia’s Aceh Province, authorities said, in the latest attempt by members of the persecuted ethnic group to flee Myanmar by sea.
The group of eight children, 25 women and 43 men was taken ashore in their wooden boat on Friday afternoon.
It was unclear how long they had been at sea, said Riza Yulianto, the police chief of Bireuen Regency in Aceh on the island of Sumatra.
The Rohingya told authorities that they wanted to reach Australia, the Aceh Disaster Mitigation Agency said.
The agency said it was coordinating with the local government to provide temporary shelter, adding that seven people were given medical treatment.
Officials were interviewing the refugees, and villagers had donated clothes and food, said Hidayatullah of local civic group Rapid Response Action.
Hidayatullah, who uses one name, said fisherman went to the aid of the Rohingya after seeing the boat at about 2pm.
Its sail was not working, he said.
Myanmar’s persecution of its Rohingya Muslim minority has sparked an exodus of about 700,000 refugees over land into neighboring Bangladesh since August last year. Some have also tried to flee by boat.
Myanmar’s military said it was carrying out counterinsurgency operations.
An Indonesian fishing boat rescued a group of five Rohingya in weak condition off westernmost Aceh on April 6, after a 20-day voyage in which five people died.
Just days before, Malaysian authorities intercepted a vessel carrying 56 people believed to be Rohingya refugees and took the vessel and its passengers to shore.
Rohingya, treated as undesirables in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar and denied citizenship, used to flee by sea by the thousands each year until security in Myanmar was tightened after a surge of refugees in 2015 caused regional concern.
The International Organization for Migration said the Indonesian government had asked it to send a team from its Medan office in Sumatra, including Rohingya interpreters, to help local officials with humanitarian assistance.
‘CONFESSED’: A court in Beijing said that former CCP member Ren Zhiqiang abused his power at a state firm and embezzled almost US$7.14 million of public funds A Chinese tycoon who called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a clown and criticized his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was yesterday jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) — once among the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s pandemic response. His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon.” Yesterday’s verdict said that Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan (US$7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
The scarcity of commercial flights landing at Sydney Airport has been a disaster for airlines and workers, but for hobby pilots the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the opportunity of a lifetime. The quieter-than-usual runways mean that private pilots have been given the chance to land at the international airport for the first time. When Sydney Flight College club captain Tim Lindley put out a call, he received an overwhelming response. He eventually organized for 14 light aircraft to fly into Sydney airport on Sunday. “For a lot of the pilots involved, including myself, it was a childhood dream to land in a big
China on Thursday lashed out at the US at a high-level UN meeting over its criticism on the COVID-19 pandemic, with its envoy declaring, “Enough is enough.” Two days after US President Donald Trump used his annual address to the General Assembly to attack China’s record, US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft, also took an outraged tone — after which her Chinese counterpart showed palpable anger. “I must say, enough is enough. You have created enough troubles for the world already,” Chinese Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun (張軍) told a Security Council meeting on global governance attended through videoconference