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Aid ship organisers thank ‘gentleman’ Myanmar

Azeez (orange jacket) helping to load some of the cargo on to a lorry in Yangon Port

YANGON: Organisers of the Malaysian-led Rohingya aid ship thanked Myanmar for allowing them to drop off cargo at the port here over the past two days.

Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim commended Myanmar’s help, calling the government “gentlemen.”

“From the time we entered Myanmar waters, they made sure that we were all safe.

“This is a good gesture. They are very kind and helpful. We expect something better in Bangladesh, a Muslim country,” he told reporters at Yangon Port.

The Nautical Aliya aid ship is carrying 2,300 tonnes of food and other cargo for Rohingyas in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Thousands of Rohingyas have fled alleged human rights abuses and violence in Myanmar in recent years.

Azeez said about 222 tonnes of cargo have been moved from the ship. Some 300 tonnes of rice had earlier been shipped to the port.

He said an extra 12,000 bottles of mineral water have also been offloaded from the ship.

The total cargo will make its way to Sittwe for distribution to Rohingyas in the area.

At 8am local time Friday, dock workers loaded some of the cargo onto a lorry, with the rest expected to moved later.

The ship is expected to leave Yangon Port at about noon once the tide rises.

After that, it’ll be a three-day journey to Chittagong, Bangladesh where the remaining cargo will be offloaded and taken to Rohingya refugee camps there.

“We’ve still not gotten approval (for our volunteers to get to shore). We’re still dealing with the government of Bangladesh,” Azeez said.

Bangladesh previously stopped the mission’s organisers from docking at Teknaf, which is nearer to some Rohingya camps, and offered Chittagong as one of the alternative landing ports.

At this point, the Bangladeshi Government is not allowing the ship’s 184 passengers to get off the ship to visit the Rohingya camps.


The Star Online