Update: May 20, 6:35 pm

In yet another horrifying report of inhumanity shown by the government forces of a Southeast Asian country toward the stranded Rohingya and Bangladeshi boat people who had been abandoned and left to die of starvation by human traffickers, Huffington Post reports on May 20 that, according to one of the survivors, the Thai navy threatened to shoot at a boat full of refugees 10 minutes after handing over supplies to them.

The report says that 10 passengers, including women and children, had already died of starvation.



My original post follows:

Amid news reports that Indonesia and Malaysia are finally agreeing to accept at least some additional starving Rohingya refugees from Burma who have been abandoned at sea by human traffickers,


Burma has offered to provide "humanitarian assistance" for these refugees, who fled that same country because of ongoing persecution and denial of citizenship rights.

Burma still refuses, however, even to mention the Rohingyas by name. This takes persecution to a new level, where the victims become "unpersons", in addition to other denials of basic rights.

Meanwhile the Burmese opposition party, National League for Democracy, announced support for "human rights" for the Rohingyas, while making it clear that its definition of that term does not include citizenship rights for this Muslim minority, which has been living a marginalized existence in Burma, a Buddhist country, for generations.

Thailand's independent Nation newspaper quotes Nyaw Win, an opposition party spokesman, as stating:

"I said human rights for all of these people, not citizenship rights."

He did not explain, how, given Burma's record of persecution of the Rohingyas, (whom his above statement also does not mention by name) they can be afforded human rights without citizenship rights.

While Burma is far away from America, both in terms of distance and in recognizing democratic values, Nyaw Win's statement also resonates in the US, where anti-immigrant organizations and politicians are mounting a campaign to change (or distort) our Constitution in order to deny birthright citizenship to millions of US-born Hispanic and other minority children, based on their parents' lack of legal immigration status.

These children would, under this proposal, be illegal in the US from the moment of birth, and therefore, under our laws, subject to deportation. And where would they go?

Since almost every country in the Western Hemisphere, in common with the United States, recognizes citizenship on the basis of country of birth, these children would in all likelihood not be recognized as citizens of their parents' native countries and would, effectively, be rendered stateless.

Is America seriously considering creating millions of "Rohingya" children on our own soil?

The Thailand Nation report (May 20) is available at: