Malaysian ship with aid for Rohingya docks in Myanmar

February 9, 2017

Vessel carrying 2,300 tonnes of aid for persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority met by Buddhist protesters.

Rohingya refugee women sit inside their home at a refugee camp in Bangladesh [Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters]
A Malaysian ship carrying 2,300 tonnes of aid for tens of thousands of persecuted Rohingya Muslims arrived in Yangon where it was met by Buddhist protesters.

Health workers and activists crowded onto the deck of the Nautical Aliya as it docked at Thilawa port near Myanmar’s commercial capital on Thursday carrying food, medical aid, and clothing.

Myanmar’s social welfare minister was among a delegation meeting the ship, which has been at the centre of a rare diplomatic spat with fellow ASEAN member Malaysia.

Outside the docking area, dozens of Buddhist monks and demonstrators waited waving national flags and signs reading: “No Rohingya”.

“We want to let them know that we have no Rohingya here,” a Buddhist monk named Thuseitta, from the Yangon chapter of the Patriotic Myanmar Monks Union, told AFP news agency.

Myanmar denies citizenship to the million-strong Rohingya, despite many of them living on its soil for generations.