Friday, May 22, The Burmese navy conducted its first rescue operation to rescue the boat of refugees , which was carrying 208 people , said Tin Maung Swe , local leader of the Rakhine State.
According to the UN , more than 2 000 people are hostage by smugglers on ships at the Burmese coast for weeks. One of the boats, which sailed under Thai pavilion rescued the boat of refugees before Friday dawn near the town of Maungdaw , starting point for many boats packed with migrants fleeing Burma.
These ships are carrying Bangladeshis fleeing from poverty , as well as members of the Rohingya ethnic group, persecuted and marginalized Muslim community , living mainly in Burma , a largely Buddhist country.
In Southeast Asia, this exodus lasts for years, but the phenomenon has taken a catastrophic turn since the beginning of May and disruption of illegal channels by the new repressive policy of Thailand.
Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia accomadated approximately 3,000 survivors in a few days, but have also pushed several boats. Several countries in Southeast Asia have in recent days relaxed their policy. Malaysia and Indonesia have stopped pushing the migrants boats, as requested by international organizations.
Kuala Lumpur also announced Thursday it had launched rescue operations at sea, but has so far not announced to have found a boat. The United States announced that they would participate in such operations by organizing a maritime surveillance.