Monday, June 1, 2015

Repost: Ronghiya and the port of last resort

I never do reposts. Never ever done. But this is one of the very rare times I'm gonna make an exception. For some reason, the magic is there, in the author's verses. I fought hard to hold back my tears as I read through the article while waiting for our car to be fixed in a "talyer" filled with other customers and the mechanics.

Inspite of the distracting environment, the article did make an impact. Here I am sharing it to everyone visiting my site. This article is from Rappler, no plagiarizing intended, just real admiration for the author. Here's the link of the original:

The Rohingya and the port of last resort

Patricia Evangelista
2:22 PM, May 29, 2015

We know our place in the world. We are the port of last resort, and have little to offer the Rohingya beyond a separate peace. Yet I write this with pride, in the hope that there will always be a cluster of islands southwest of the Pacific, where no ship in need is called unwanted

They said there were knives and ropes. They said there were riots over scraps. They said they were stabbed and beaten, and that there were days when their throats were so parched they drank their own urine. Some of them were hanged, others thrown overboard.

There was a risk of mass casualties, said aid groups. Drifting boats were turning into floating coffins. Ship decks were little more than a confusion of shoulders, ribs, and bony elbows. Rohingya refugees waved signs as navies towed rickety boats out to sea. The crisis had become a game of human Ping-Pong, with lives in play as countries took turns slamming the paddle.

There was a standoff, until early last week, when news broke that the Philippines had offered shelter to 3,000 boat people.