Chittagong, Bangladesh: More than 30 dead bodies are floating near Saint Martin Island in the Bay of Bengal today morning, according to fishermen who went to the sea for fishing.
“We found 30 dead bodies of people, which are floating in the Bay of Bengal, are not recognized who are they, maybe Rohingya refugee –fleeing from central Arakan- or the boat people – which sunk last week of October- and no one was rescued this dead bodies.”
“We informed to the authorities of Bangldesh and informed also to the people of Maungdaw about the dead bodies to save the dead bodies to bury, but still we don’t see anyone do it.”
“We are trying to get permission from Bangladesh authority to save and bury, but no.”
“But, thousands of boats go out to sea for fishing every day. We have asked them to watch out for bodies,” said Lieutenant Badruddoza, a coastguard commander in Teknaf on the southeast tip of Bangladesh.
“The desperate families of the missing passengers have also been searching for bodies,” he added.
If these dead bodies are from sinking boat, they are mostly Bangladeshi and a few are Rohingya –only 40, said Kalam, a fishing trawler Mazi (leader) from Shapuri Dip.
“If these dead bodies are from fleeing boats, they are died for starvation as no water, no foods and no medicines. They were not allowing in Burma or Bangladesh to land. The Burmese government did not allow them to land when they arrived at Maungdaw south and kept them on the boat in the sea.”
The Rohingya from central are floating in the sea as the Burmese and Bangldeshi governments are not allowing them to land. So, more boats – more than 35 boats stranded near Akyab and nearly 40 boats are stranded near Saint Martin Island. 4 boats land in Maungdaw south, but Burmese authority didn’t allow them to take shelter. UNHCR tried to set up a temporary camp for these boat people- Rohingyas, said a politician from Maungdaw.
The head of the Muslim community in Minbya denied that they instigated the unrest and some people were already planning for violence and the family was merely a scapegoat, according to The Irrawaddy.
The government has reported that 28,000 people have been made homeless during the recent violence, which started on Oct.21, while a total of 2,950 houses, 14 religious buildings and eight rice mills were razed to the ground. Eighty-eight people have been confirmed dead while 129 have been hospitalized as carnage raged across nine townships, according to official figures.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that there could be even more displaced people as the numbers of those who fled could not be verified.
Vivian Tan, spokesperson for the UNHCR in Bangkok, said “We believe that there could be more people displaced because some fled to the hills. But we do not know how many. Around 6,000 people got on fishing boats. They are trying to find a safe place to land so they can get some help.”