Koh Lipe – The fate of around 300 ethnic Rohingya migrants whose overcrowded trawler has been bounced for days between Thai and Malaysian waters dramatises the desperate plight of Southeast Asia’s new boat-people.
Thousands more migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar are also believed to be at sea in rickety boats and at risk of starvation.
The boat with its miserable, rake-thin human cargo was found on Thursday adrift near the southern Thai resort of Koh Lipe.
While the Thai navy gave food and water to the passengers — many of whom are women and young children — they have since continued to drift with a damaged engine across the sea border with Malaysia, seemingly unwanted by either country or by Indonesia.
The boat’s location was still unclear on Sunday as rights groups and journalists scoured the sea near the Malaysia border area for signs of it… see more