A new Dunkirk

Sunday Times - - WEEK IN REVIEW - By Danish Sid­diqui

For thou­sands of Ro­hingya Mus­lims in Myan­mar, the lit­tle boats brought de­liv­er­ance this week. In a re-en­act­ment of the Dunkirk res­cue 77 years ago dur­ing World War 2, Ro­hingya flee­ing in­dis­crim­i­nate at­tacks on their vil­lages were res­cued by rick­ety wooden fish­ing boats and taken across the Bay of Ben­gal to rel­a­tive safety in Bangladesh. The Ro­hingya are a mi­nor­ity in Myan­mar and have long been per­se­cuted by the state, which re­fuses to recog­nise them as cit­i­zens and re­gards them as refugees from Bangladesh. Vi­o­lence against them, by the Myan­mar army and or­di­nary Myan­mar peo­ple, has es­ca­lated in re­cent weeks. Un­like at Dunkirk, the lit­tle boats charged Ro­hingya refugees the equiv­a­lent of about R1 600 per per­son for the cross­ing to safety.

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