At Least 32 Dead on Migrant Ship Left Adrift for Weeks
At least 32 ethnic Rohingya died on a ship that drifted for weeks after it failed to reach Malaysia, Bangladesh coast guard officials said on Thursday, following the rescue of 396 starving survivors.A human rights group said it believed more boats carrying Rohingya - a Muslim minority - were adrift at sea, with coronavirus lockdowns in Malaysia and Thailand making it harder for them to find refuge."They were at sea for about two months and were starving," a Bangladesh coastguard official told Reuters in a message…
Thousands Flee as Tropical Storm Nears Thailand Coast
Thailand's first tropical storm in three decades, packing winds of up to 80 kph (50 mph), is expected to make landfall on Friday evening, sending thousands of people flocking to shelter inland and shutting down a major airport.The winds accompanying tropical storm Pabuk churned up high waves and gusts in the Gulf of Thailand, ahead of its arrival in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat.Weather officials warned of torrential downpours and strong winds in 15 provinces in the Thai south…
More Bodies Found after Thai Tourist Boat Disaster
Thai rescue workers pulled three more bodies from the Andaman Sea, officials said on Tuesday, as the grim task of identifying more than 40 dead gets underway following a boat accident off the coast of Phuket last week."Three more bodies were found. One found near Phi Phi island," Somnuek Prempramote, commander of Naval Area 3, told a news conference in the popular holiday island off Thailand's west coast.The boat, the Phoenix, went down off Phuket in high seas on Thursday with 101 people on board, including 89 tourists, all but two of them from China, during an outing to a small island. Twelve Thai crew were also on board.The death toll…
USS Coronado Departs Singapore
The littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) departed Singapore Nov. 4 after completing a 14-month rotational deployment to Southeast Asia. During the deployment, the ship and crew operated with navies of 16 partner nations, participated in 11 multilateral and bilateral exercises, and made 10 strategic port visits across the region. "The rotational deployment of USS Coronado demonstrated the relevance of LCS as a platform tailor made for the dynamic and congested sea lanes, straits and archipelagos of South and Southeast Asia…
India Deploys Eastern Fleet Ships Overseas
Indian Naval Ships Shivalik, Sahyadri, Jyoti and Kamorta of the Eastern Fleet manouvering in the Andaman Sea. The task force is on a routine deployment to Malacca Strait, the Java Sea, Flores Sea, the Arafura Sea and Southern Indian Ocean under the command of Rear Admiral Biswajit Dasgupta, YSM, VSM, the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet. During the course of the deployment, as part of the ‘Act East Policy’, the ships would make port calls at Singapore, Kuantan (Malaysia), Jakarta and Surabaya (Indonesia), Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea) and Fremantle (Australia).
US, Thailand Naval Exercise in Andaman Sea
The U.S. Navy (USN) and the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) kicked off Exercise Guardian Sea, Andaman Sea comprising bilateral naval training drills that aim to enhance cooperation in the fields of anti-submarine warfare and maritime domain awareness. Exercise 'Guardian Sea' in 2016 will also feature a shore phase with seminars and exchanges between subject-matter experts from both navies. The drills allow the navies to practice procedures related to anti-submarine warfar. Exercise Guardian Sea includes personnel from the U.S.
Record Number of Migrants Killed Crossing Mediterranean
More than 3,770 migrants and refugees died in 2015 trying to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean Sea, making the year the deadliest on record for those seeking sanctuary from conflict and poverty, an international migration group said on Thursday. Most of those deaths occurred along a perilous central Mediterranean route used by smugglers operating out of Libya, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The deadliest month was April, when nearly 1…
US Navy Joins Piracy Battle
The United States and six other nations kicked off a five-day naval exercise Monday aimed at combating piracy and other crimes in Southeast Asia’s heavily trafficked waters, reports Stars and Stripes. The Singapore-based Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training Exercise, or SEACAT, comes as piracy appears to be increasing in the South China Sea, where trillions of dollars in global trade transit annually. SEACAT focuses on regional cooperation to address shared maritime security challenges like smuggling…
Vietnam to Build Seaport Eyeing Kra Canal
A report in the Straits Times Vietnam is set to build a US$2.5 billion seaport in Ca Mau, its southernmost province, hoping to steal some spotlight away from the more popular regional hubs Singapore and Malaysia and could be a clue to Kra Canal. Vietnam announced that it would build a US$2.5 billion deep-water seaport, named Hon Khoai Port, on an island 17km off the coast of Ca Mau, Vietnam's southern-most province. The project was approved by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
Indian Naval Chief to Visit Singapore, Thailand
With an effort to consolidate the Navy-to-Navy cooperation and to strengthen the relationship in tune with India’s Act East policy, Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral RK Dhowan will be going on a five-day tour to Singapore and Thailand. Dhowan will be visiting Singapore from 20-22 July and Thailand from July 23-25. During the Singapore visit, Dhowan will meet various dignitaries, including that country’s defence minister, chief of defence forces and the Chief of Navy. He will…
Kra Canal to Remain Pipe Dream
The revival of the idea of building the Kra Canal through Thailand to enable shipping to bypass the narrow Straits of Malacca has been in the news recently. The plan would be to build a 750 mile (1,200Km) canal at an estimated cost of $28 billion, which would provide greater support to current supply chain. The notion of creating a new sea lane that slashes shipping times between the Andaman Sea in the Indian Ocean and South China Sea in the Pacific Ocean has never lost its powerful magnetism.
Myanmar Lands 700 Migrants
Myanmar lands 727 migrants after boat kept offshore for days. Myanmar brought ashore more than 700 "boat people" it had kept at sea for days aboard a seized vessel, as the United States on Wednesday called on the country to help solve a migrant crisis by recognising the rights of its Muslim Rohingya minority. U.S. President Barack Obama has sought to make Myanmar's transition to democracy a legacy of his presidency, and Washington is stepping up pressure on the Southeast Asian nation to tackle what it sees as the root causes of an exodus of migrants across the Bay of Bengal that the region has struggled to cope with. The 727 migrants were found drifting in the Andaman Sea on Friday in an overloaded fishing boat that was taking on water.
Myanmar Escorting Migrant Boat to "safe" Area
Boat with more than 700 aboard intercepted on Friday; Bangladesh says will only take those identified as citizens. Myanmar said a boat crammed with 727 migrants that it has kept stranded at sea for days was being escorted to a "safe" area for identity checks, bringing fresh criticism that it was only prolonging the suffering of people desperate to come ashore. "The operation is starting. They will be taken to a safe destination," Information Minister Ye Htut told Reuters by telephone, adding that the migrants had been provided with food and water. He would not disclose that location due to "security and safety concerns". Earlier, Ye…
Migrant Boat Still Held off Myanmar
More than 700 migrants found packed aboard an overcrowded boat in the Andaman Sea were still being held offshore by Myanmar's navy on Monday, more than three days after the converted fishing vessel was intercepted off the country's coast. "The government is checking their identity, asking what they want to do and where they want to go," government spokesman Ye Htut told Reuters, without providing further details of the boat's location. Government officials have been tight-lipped about the identities of 727 migrants on the overcrowded fishing boat, found drifting and taking on water early Friday, as well as their eventual destination.
Myanmar Lands Seized Migrant Boat on Island
A boat packed with more than 700 "boat people" seized off Myanmar's coast was stopped on a small island on Saturday, as officials gave mixed signals about its final destination. Myanmar's navy discovered the boat with 727 migrants off the country's southern coast on Friday, but have since been tight-lipped on the identity of those on board, as well as their fate. Myo Win, the township administrator of Hainggyi Island, in the country's south, told Reuters the boat was taken to nearby Leik Island and the migrants were kept on board while they were provided with food, water and medical help.
Hundreds Rally in Myanmar over "boat people" Crisis
Hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of Myanmar's largest city of Yangon on Wednesday to denounce foreign criticism of the country's treatment of stateless Rohingya Muslims. About 300 people, led by about 30 Buddhist monks, shouted slogans against the United Nations and Western media, who they accuse of unfairly blaming Myanmar for a "boat people" crisis that has seen thousands of trafficked Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants wash up in Southeast Asia in recent weeks. Protest leaders argued that the vast majority of those who have landed or been rescued at sea were citizens of neighbouring Bangladesh, who were pretending to be Rohingya in order to receive refugee protection.
CNPC Eyes Myanmar for LNG Terminal
China's biggest oil and gas company China National Petroleum Corp.(CNPC ) has expressed interested in a terminal in Kyaukphyu in Myanmar to receive imported Liquefied natural gas (LNG). China National Petroleum Corporation has proposed developing a terminal in Kyaukphyu to receive imported LNG, local media quoted an official from state-owned Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise. He said that companies from China, Korea, Japan, Norway, Singapore and Thailand have already proposed investment into LNG development projects in Myanmar, and feasibility studies have been completed.
Myanmar Finds 200 Bangladeshis in Offshore Boat
Myanmar's navy found a boat carrying more than 200 Bangladeshis, the government said on Friday, after the military chief said some migrants landing in Malaysia and Indonesia this month are pretending to be Rohingya Muslims so they can get U.N. aid. The western Myanmar state of Rakhine said the boat was from Thailand and the people smugglers' plan had been to send the migrants to Thailand. The remarks are sure to spark concern after the United States lambasted Myanmar this week for failing to address the cause of the crisis, which observers say stems from Myanmar's refusal to recognise the Rohingya, an ethnic minority group living in western Myanmar, as citizens. Most of Myanmar's 1.1 million Rohingya are stateless and live in apartheid-like conditions.
Thailand, China Teams Up on Kra Canal
Thailand and China have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in Guangzhou to jointly cut a shipping passage across Kra Isthmus in southern Thailand, the narrowest part of the Malay Peninsula. The canal, located at Kra Isthmus, will enable ships to bypass the Malacca Strait so as to shorten their voyage by 1,200 km. The canal will be 102 km long, 400 meters wide and 25 meters deep. Unlike the Suez Canal the Kra Canal does not exist yet. For centuries, the Thais have been…
Salvage and Wreck Removal Conference
HINODE Events and Services Pvt Ltd., have announced the 4th Annual Conference on Salvage and Wreck Removal in India to be held on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at Visakhapatnam on India's East Coast. This conference is being held for the first time in Visakhapatnam, a busy Dry Bulk Port, close to offshore activity in the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and Andaman Sea. Now in its fourth year, the Conference will review the latest developments in Marine Salvage and Wreck Removal strategies, methods and techniques for cargo vessels and also offshore vessels / installations examine recent accidents...collisions, groundings, oil spills and other casualties.
'Mass Casualties' Unless Thailand Meets Migrant Obligations
Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia should fulfil their obligations under international maritime law by rescuing thousands of migrants adrift at sea and avoiding "mass casualties", shipping experts said on Friday. landing, despite a request by the United Nations to rescue them. "We will have mass casualties on our hands if there is not an immediate and concerted search-and-rescue operation by countries in the region," said David Hammond, a maritime law expert and founder of charity Human Rights At Sea. The migrants have been at sea in rickety boats for weeks with little water and food following a crackdown by the Thai government on human trafficking.
South-East Asian Migrant Crisis
Thousands of migrants from Bangladeshi and Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar Myanmar are still stranded at sea in south-east Asia in desperate need of food and water. Like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, the Philippines will push back to sea undocumented Asian “boat people” despite a United Nations appeal to Southeast Asian countries to open their ports to the migrants from impoverished Myanmar and Bangladesh. Earlier, United Nations has called on Southeast Asian nations not to push back the boatloads of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar and Bangladeshis - men…
No Word on Hundreds of Migrants Pushed Back to Sea
A migrant boat pushed back to sea by Southeast Asian nations over the weekend has not been heard from for two days, raising concerns about what has happened to the 300 people on board, rights groups said on Monday. The boat was pushed backwards and forward between Malaysian and Thai waters last week in what the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has described as "maritime ping-pong". It is one of many vessels adrift in the Andaman Sea after human traffickers jumped ship when a crackdown by Thailand's junta made it difficult for the criminals that prey on Bangladeshis and stateless Rohingya from western Myanmar to land on Thai shores.