More than 8000 Rohingyan asylum seekers are stranded in the Malacca Straits. About 200 people have already died and more are at risk from dehydration and starvation. The stateless Rohingyans are victims of ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. Australia must immediately lift its ban on accepting UNHCR refugees from Indonesia and offer Rohingyan refugees safe passage to Australia. The lives of the Rohingyan asylum seekers rest in the hands of regional governments of Australia, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Every hour that passes without assistance puts more lives in danger.
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa announced on May 16 that the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) will provide assistance to the thousands of Asian immigrants stranded off the coast of Thailand. “This world is crazy, it shows a total disregard for human life to have people stranded on a boat, dying of starvation without being allowed to get off the boat,” Correa stated during his weekly presidential address.
Refugee Council of Australia president Phil Glendenning spoke at a public forum in Melbourne on May 13 about the fate of refugees deported from Australia. Glendenning is also the director of the Edmund Rice Centre, which has investigated the fate of asylum seekers deported to their homeland, or pressured to return "voluntarily".