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Asian Insider Podcast: Rohingya refugees have very little hope for a better future, say experts

Synopsis: Every fourth Friday of the month, The Straits Times’ US bureau chief Nirmal Ghosh presents an Asian perspective of the biggest global talking points with expert guests.

Life for the over one million Rohingya in refugee camps in Bangladesh continues to become increasingly intolerable, with food rations down to 27 US cents a day, and little or no hope for a return to their homeland in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

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This is where they have, over the years, been driven out from, in successive waves of pogroms, which refer to an organised massacre of a particular ethnic group.

In Rakhine state, life gets no better either; at least 27 Rohingya drowned when their boat sank offshore earlier this month as they tried to make the perilous journey to Malaysia across treacherous open seas – an occurrence by no means uncommon; more can be expected in the coming months. 

Highlights (click/tap above):

00:50 23 Rohingya died in August when their boat capsized off Rakhine state; they had been trying to get to Malaysia

03:32 Rohingya are also the largest stateless population globally as their country of origin does not accept them as their nationals, as their citizens.

06:25 Acute malnutrition is rising among children 

07:00 Armed groups sow chaos and mayhem in the camps, coupled with organized crime.  

09:00 Hopes of going home destroyed by the architect of their expulsion, the commander in chief of the armed forces, General Min Aung Hlaing

13:00 A lot has to be done to allow the Rohingya to go home – but if they can’t, what then?

22:05 Dangerous gambles to reach other countries

Produced by: Nirmal Ghosh (, Ernest Luis, Fa’izah Sani

Edited by: Fa’izah Sani

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