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Philippines southern region ready to accept boatpeople

  • Published at 07:36 am May 22nd, 2015

The southern region of Philippines is willing to provide assistance to the Bangladeshi and Rohingya boat migrants.

The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) made the announcement on Friday, Philippines state news agency PNA reported.

Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman said the ARMM joins the international call for governments to show compassion and humanity to the Rohingya people who have fled Burma.

"As they are trapped at sea and are desperate for help, their sufferings exacerbated by the refusal of other countries to welcome them and provide them with refuge, we must offer them a glimmer of hope for a bright future and a peaceful life," Hataman said.

"As Muslims, we are concerned about how women and children are facing this perilous journey to freedom, only to find an ocean of uncertainty and crushing indifference from the world outside Burma," the regional governor said.

The international community is slowly stepping forward with offers of assistance to help alleviate Southeast Asia’s migrant crisis.

On Wednesday, Malaysia and Indonesia agreed to provide temporary shelter to the estimated 7,000 migrants stranded at sea. However, both countries insisted that the migrants would need to be resettled elsewhere by the international community within a year.

The United States stepped forward Wednesday, saying it is willing to take in some Rohingya refugees as part of the international efforts.