“In one case last month, the reports say, 410 Rohingya migrants were taken out to sea on a Thai Navy vessel and forced onto an open barge with just four barrels of water and two sacks of rice. Four people were thrown overboard with their hands and feet tied, in order to encourage the others to board the barge, according to the reports.
After drifting for two weeks, about 100 of them were rescued on the Andaman Islands, which are administered by India. About 300 remain missing after trying to swim to shore, according to several reports from the news media and human rights groups.
In a second case soon afterward, 580 people were reportedly seized off the Thai coast on three overcrowded fishing boats. These were towed back out to sea after their engines were removed, said Chris Lewa, an expert on Rohingya issues who heads a private human rights group called the Arakan Project.”
“We motored into Donald Duck Bay and saw this strange sight, which we later found out to be the refugees.
We had never seen anything like it before in our entire lives – at first we thought it was a bunch of logs, or seals. Then, maybe, a protest, or illegal fishermen. Other people on the boat thought it was some sort of photo shoot or art display.
At this stage we definitely didn’t think it was refugees – thinking that if it was, the Thai navy would probably not have let us into the cove. Maybe it was an error of judgment by the Thai officers, who seemed a bit disorganised.
We arrived on the beach where people were sun baking and snorkelling, and went for a walk up to the peak. There is a picture of the beach taken from here showing the refugees. We all felt really bad, because here we were, sun baking and snorkelling and having a great holiday, and these people were bound on the beach in the open sun, obviously in a bad condition.
Some of them were trying to sit up and looked like they were complaining, but they were answered with a whip on the back and head. One of them was dragged to the shade – not looking like he was in good shape – where he lay for the rest of our time there. This had an effect on the others, who complained, but they were then hit with the whip.”
Paul Collier to United Nations, via the NY Times: Sack up, Ho!
“Well, take, for instance, the American biofuel scam (the ethanol subsidies that have diverted 30 percent of American corn away from the food supply) and the European ban on genetically modified seeds, imitated by Africa, have both contributed to Africa’s worsening food shortage. Where is the United Nations pressure for an end to these follies?
Why, also, did the United Nations not intervene militarily when the democratic government of Mauritania, another country in the bottom billion, was overthrown by a coup last month? Where is an alternative initiative to open international trade to poor countries now that the Doha round talks have collapsed? Above all, with a five-year-old commodities boom transferring wealth to some of the countries of the bottom billion, where are the international guidelines on taxation and investment that might help these countries convert earnings from exports of depleting minerals into productive assets like roads and schools?”
CNN has now put the East Timor story on its front page, under “world.” Except it’s not a coup attempt. It’s a “shooting.”
That it happened to be a “shooting” of the President and Prime Minister, and happened to be committed by “rebel troops” is obviously pure coincidence.
Oh, and Americans should “use extreme caution and limit movements as much as possible.” Glad we got that message out there! I know that I, for one, could never have figured that out on my own. Thanks, CNN! You’re a real pal.
The adolescent state of East Timor has become increasingly violent in its bids for the attention of older, more mature nations. The western media, wary of rewarding such bad behavior, continues to adhere to its policy of ignoring the outbursts.
P. S. There was a coup attempt this morning.