Twenty-four Rohingya refugees have gone missing while trying to swim after arriving by boat in the Lancabi island region of Malaysia. them Malaysian authorities have launched a search operation. Two boats and an aircraft were sent to the area on Sunday (26 July) as part of the operation. This information has been revealed from the report of British media The Guardian.
Although a large number of Rohingya have been victims of ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, they have taken refuge in Bangladesh, with some trying to move to Thailand and Malaysia. They try to cross these countries illegally at the risk of a better life.
According to the Malaysian Coast Guard, a boat carrying the Rohingyas reached the west coast of Lanka in the evening of Saturday (25 July). Then 25 Rohingyas got down from the boat and tried to swim to the shore. In the end only one Rohingya was able to reach the shore.
The Provincial Director of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Mohammed Zaabi Abdullah said the search operation would cover an area of 100 square miles. “I have informed other rescue agencies and the local fishing community,” he said. Thai authorities will also be sought to carry out rescue operations.
Meanwhile, the police have arrested Rohingya who managed to reach the shore. He is under interrogation. It is unknown at this time what caused the injuries.
Earlier, 279 Rohingyas were detained after reaching Lanka last month.
Thousands of Rohingya have been seen fleeing to various countries since 2012 when communal riots broke out in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. Many were again caught by human smugglers. In 2015, the trend of Rohingyas migrating to different countries in the sea increased among groups. At that time, 25,000 Rohingya fled to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia via the Andaman Sea. Myanmar’s military has escalated pre-planned and structured violence following the attacks on several Rakhine security outposts on 25 August 2016. Around 7 lakh Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh to escape various forms of violence and persecution including murder and rape.