Update May 20, 2015

Dhaka 12-11 am, 04-August, 2020

430 Bangladeshis, Rohingyas rescued in Indonesia

Sumel Sarker

migrant 222

430 Bangladeshis, Rohingyas rescued in Indonesia

20 May 2015, Nirapad News: Hundreds of Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants have been rescued by fishermen off the coast of Indonesia, reports BBC.

Local officials said more than 370 migrants, including at least 50 women and children, had been at sea for weeks and were starving and dehydrated.

The latest rescue comes as ministers from Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia hold emergency talks in Kuala Lumpur on what is a growing humanitarian crisis.

Local officials in Indonesia’s East Aceh said 102 migrants – including 26 women and 31 children – were rescued from one drifting boat overnight by fishermen. Another 272 were brought to shore early on Wednesday.

“They were suffering dehydration, they are weak and starving,” said Khairul Nove, head of search and rescue operations in Langsa city.

Another official, Sadikin, said the second boat was spotted drifting some 40 miles (65km) off shore by fishermen who “felt pity for them”.

“We are giving first aid to these people, we are feeding them, giving them water and providing a comfortable place for them,” he said.

One of the rescued migrants, Ubaydul Haque, told that they had been at sea for four months, that their engine was not working and that the captain had fled.

“We ran out of food, we wanted to enter Malaysia but we were not allowed.”

The stand-off has left thousands of Bangladeshi economic migrants and Rohingya Muslims – fleeing persecution in Myanmar – stranded at sea. An unknown number have died and those still on boats are living in poor conditions with little food and water.

Myanmar, which the three countries say is the source of the crisis, is not attending the talks in Kuala Lumpur.

It denies being to blame, but the foreign ministry released a statement on Wednesday saying it “shares concerns” and “stands ready to provide humanitarian assistance to anyone who suffered in the sea”

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