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Weather is probably not ideal to cross from Thailand to Burma

Phuket Weather Alert for Boats: Cyclone Approaches Coast

Wednesday, May 15, 2013
PHUKET: Small boats in Phuket and other Andaman provinces are being advised not to put to sea from this afternoon through until Saturday as a cyclone approaches the coast further north.

While Cyclone Mahasen is headed towards western Burma and Bangladesh, the effects will be felt much further south, a forecaster at the Phuket-based Southern Meteorological Centre (West Coast) said today.

Waves of two to three metres are predicted with strong winds as the weather worsens. There's a 30 percent chance of rain this afternoon and tomorrow on Phuket.

While small boats off Phuket can encounter serious squalls at this time of year, greatest concern is being held for Rohingya in flood-prone shanty camps for displaced people in Burma's Rakhine state.

Thousands of Rohingya were torched from their homes in sometimes-deadly ethnic violence last year. Many will be homeless again if the cyclone lives up to predictions.

NGOs say the government of Burma has only provided flimsy accommodation and little aid to 140,000 unwanted and dispossessed Rohingya as part of a tacit campaign of ethnic cleansing.

Encouragement of more open economic ties with neighbors and the world's prosperous nations appears to have only intensified Burma's desire to be rid of its Rohingya, one way or another.

President Thein Sein will speak on Monday at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies and the US Chamber of Commerce, the largest US business federation, spokespeople for the two organisations said.

The Rohingya are not likely to be mentioned.

More than 50 Rohingya remain missing after a boat capsize off the coast of Burma yesterday.


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