According to ANI news reports, the Rohingya refugees, including five children, 31 women, and 28 men, were found stranged in Tarutao National Park on Rawi island in Thai’s southern province of Satun after their small boat suffered severe engine trouble.
Tarutao National Marine Park chief Kanjanapan Kamhaeng was quoted as saying the refugee’s boat was discovered crushed onto a rocky shore. According to a preliminary report, it showed the boat was filled with some 65 refugees and various Myanmar and Thai citizens, the chief added.
Kamhaeng also said the stranded group was then carried away to the immigration officials for the procedures by the Thai navy.
Navy officer commander Thanapong Sudrak, meanwhile, told Dawn the Thai authorities were probing whether the matter involved the case of human trafficking.
A Thailand’s government official was quoted as saying the refugees of the crushed boat will be soon transferred to their homeland.
The official said, “Everyone will be investigating in order to see whether they are victims of trafficking or illegal immigrants.”
Myanmar considers Rohingya Muslims as illegal migrants which have come from the Indian subcontinent and has yet confined tens of hundreds of camps in the Rakhine State since violence erupted in the region in 2012.
The military crackdown on Rohingyas prompted thousands of minorities to flee the nation via sea. An estimated 25,000 people have yet fled Myanmar, crossing the Andaman Sea to reach Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand.
On May 18, the United Nations has that over 270,000 Rohingya refugees have been for the first time registered and provided identity cards (IDs) in Bangladesh in an attempt to protect their right to voluntarily return back to their homeland, Myanmar, in the future.
In an official statement, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHRC) stated despite living in their homeland Myanmar for decades, the Rohingyas weren’t able to acquire IDs, formal citizenship & documentation, leaving them deprived of basic human rights and stateless.
This development also improves the data’s accuracy over refugees in Bangladesh, which directly will help the authorities and humanitarian groups to understand better all the needs of the refugee population.