Migrants Land in Indonesia, But Hundreds Pushed Back to Sea

Migrants Land in Indonesia, But Hundreds Pushed Back to Sea

Bangladeshi migrants walk toward a temporary shelter upon arrival at Kuala Langsa Port in Langsa, Aceh province, Indonesia, Friday, May 15, 2015. Hundreds of Bangladeshi and ethnic Rohingya migrants have landed on the shores of Indonesia and Thailand after being adrift at sea for weeks, authorities said Friday. They are among the few who have successfully sneaked past a wall of resistance mounted by Southeast Asian countries who have made it clear the boat people are not welcome. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)
Bangladeshi migrants walk toward a temporary shelter upon arrival at Kuala Langsa Port in Langsa, Aceh province, Indonesia, Friday, May 15, 2015. Hundreds of Bangladeshi and ethnic Rohingya migrants have landed on the shores of Indonesia and Thailand after being adrift at sea for weeks, authorities said Friday. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)

Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Kanupriya Kapoor, REUTERS

 
BANGKOK/JAKARTA (Reuters) — Nearly 800 “boat people” were brought ashore in Indonesia on Friday, but other vessels crammed with migrants were sent back to sea despite a U.N. call to rescue thousands adrift in Southeast Asian waters with dwindling supplies of food and water.

Underlining the hardening of Southeast Asia government’s stance on the boatloads of Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Myanmar, Thailand’s prime minister warned on Friday that if more migrants arrived they might steal jobs from Thais and Indonesia’s military chief warned they would cause “social issues”.

About 2,500 migrants have landed on Indonesia’s western tip and the northwest coast of Malaysia over the past week.

But two boats that crossed the Malacca Strait from the Thailand-Malaysia side have been turned away by the Indonesian navy, and on Friday another was towed out to sea by the Thai navy.

 

READ MORE

###