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The new-born baby, part of a boatpeople community who have nothing

No-Name Baby Has Nothing Except Hope

Friday, April 5, 2013
PHUKET: She has no name. And her birth in a Phuket hospital this week made her a part of a stateless community who have no homes, and no real future.

Within 24 hours of entering the world, this newborn's mother even offered to gift her to Phuketwan in the hope that we could give her a better chance in life.

As a Rohingya, persecuted in Burma, unwanted in Thailand and largely ignored by the rest of the world, this daughter of the 21st Century has nothing.

In that regard, she is just like her parents and her extended community. They also have nothing. Torched from their homes, all they possess are the clothes they wear.

When heavily pregnant Rorbeena Bakum, 25, boarded the flimsy boat to flee Burma, she took with her precisely nothing.

It was the same with the other 106 on board, who included 15 members of her family. A desperate voyage into the unknown, they decided, was better than life in Burma.

Off the coast, within days of arriving in Thailand north of Phuket, Rorbeena assisted at the birth of a boy on the boat.

As a heavy shower lashed the small vessel, she and the mother-to-be were ushered under a tarpaulin for the birth. With more than 100 onlookers on a wild and storm-tossed sea, it must have been quite an arrival.

Had that been Rorbeena on the boat's rough decking, she and her baby would not have survived. She needed a C-section and extra blood when her no-name daughter was delivered this week at Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket City.

Rorbeena was brought alone to the Phuket public hospital from the family refuge north of Phuket where she and more than 70 Rohingya women and children are being detained.

No family members were allowed to travel with her. Her husband remained detained in Phang Nga Immigration centre, where 273 men are being confined in overcrowded conditions.

Birthing conditions at Vachira Phuket are basic but this week's delivery went well. Hospital authorities eventually agreed to provide Rorbeena with all the post-natal medical care she needed, regardless of cost.

Within a day or so, she and her firstborn will be returned to the Phang Nga family shelter, swelling numbers there from 72 to 73.

More than 1800 Rohingya are being held in detention across Thailand, with boats that recently arrived on Phuket and at Takuapa, to Phuket's north, making accommodation even more crowded.

No word has been heard of a third boat, containing more than 60 passengers, and it was probably lost at sea. That's the risk all Rohingya take in fleeing what they consider to be an even more certain death in Burma.

On Phuket, 29 women and children are being held at a family shelter to the east of Phuket City. Thirty-eight men are confined in grim conditions at Phuket Immigration headquarters in Phuket City.

Another 35 men have been trucked to Immigration in the port township of Ranong, on the border between Thailand and Burma.

Ranong Immigration is where two teenage Rohingya died in custody in 2009, and where survivors hobbled out crippled and bent after a six-month incarceration.

The hundreds of Rohingya being held in Thailand now are supposed to be having their status and their future considered, to be decided by the Thai Government with advice from NGOs, before the end of July.

However, usually reliable sources have told Phuketwan that the Rohingya can expect to be held captive in Thailand for at least a year, perhaps longer.

As with the detention of a boatload of Rohingya men between 2009 and 2011, holding the unwanted arrivals in captivity for a long period clearly sends the message that Thailand's military wants to send.

Prolonged detention in Thailand warns Burma's outcasts: you are not wanted here. Land in Thailand and you will suffer.

More than 25,000 passengers are reported to have departed Burma in this latest ''sailing season'' between October and April, fleeing brutality, and hundreds have come ashore along the Andaman coast on their way to Malaysia.

The governments of Thailand and Burma's Asean neighbors choose to deal with the concequences of Burma's repression rather than push their racist neighbor to become more tolerant.

For those who have nothing, there is little to do except wait and hope.

THE FAMILY refuges in Phuket and Phang Nga are asking for baby supplies, eggs, halal food, cooking oil, any basics that can help to sustain the Rohingya women and children.

The addresses are:

Phuket shelter
11 Sakdidat Rd., Talad Nur, Muang, Phuket
076-213315

Phang Nga shelter
560/122 Moo 5, Khukkhak, Takuapa.
Contact Khun Boo: 089 9736134.

Donations of halal food are also welcome at Phuket Immigration and Phang Nga Immigration.

Comments

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My big love to cute baby.My sincere thanks to medical team and staffs of Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket City for full support of every assistance including rare blood group of B minus.The Phuket Wan News group's highlighting news and take care of new born Rohingya baby is highly noted.

Posted by Maung Kyaw Nu,President,Burmese Rohingya Association in Thailand ,BRAT on April 5, 2013 21:27

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Pat on the back for Phuket Wan.
Well done.
Nobody cares for these poor people.

Posted by hopeful on April 6, 2013 13:20


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