the andaman sea

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Corals are the ultimate hybrids; each individual consists of a symbiotic pairing between plant and animal. They can photosynthesize during the day (as the purple and gold one doing) and then filter feed on nutrients during the night. Corals that depend more heavily on the latter tend to live in areas with moderate to strong currents - photo taken in the South Andaman Sea

'They hit us, with hammers, by knife': Rohingya migrants tell of horror at sea

Up to 8,000 are believed to be stuck off Thai, Indonesian and Malaysian coasts, and those who made it to shore describe violence and starvationUp to 8,000 are believed to be stuck off Thai, Indonesian and Malaysian coasts, and those who made it to shore describe violence and starvation

Crowded under tarpaulin tents strewn with rubbish and boxes of water, the Burmese and Bangladeshi migrants speak of horrors at sea: of murders, of killing each other over scarce supplies of food and water, of corpses thrown overboard.

“One family was beaten to death with wooden planks from the boat, a father, a mother and their son,” says Mohammad Amin, 35. “And then they threw the bodies into the ocean.”

Amin, an ethnic Rohingya Muslim, first boarded a boat from Burma three months ago. Now he is among 677 migrants who are being housed in a makeshift camp by the harbour in Langsa, Indonesia, after spending months in the Andaman Sea.

                                                                                                                          

Getting to the camp was an epic struggle. As governments around the region have refused the migrants entry, and their navies have pushed them back, it was eventually down to Acehnese fishermen to rescue the boat on Friday, towing it to shore in Langsa.

But at least now they are on dry land. Between 6,000 and 8,000 more are believed to still be stuck off the coasts of Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, with limited water and food, in a situation the UN has warned could fast become a “massive humanitarian crisis” because no government in the region is willing to take them in.

Mohammad Rafique, 21, says that when the boat he was on first floated into Indonesian waters last week, the navy gave them provisions of food and water. “After that they asked us, ‘Where you go now?’” he explains, “We said, ‘We are going to Malaysia.’ The Indonesian navy said, ‘Go to Malaysia,’ and they take us to the Malaysian border.”

In Malaysia they were met with the same response.

Men are fed intravenously at a makeshift hospital of the refugee camp in Langsa, Indonesia.

Out back in the hospital wing in Langsa, a row of men lie on stretchers with their emaciated limbs hooked up to intravenous drips. The back of one shirtless man is marked with deep red lashes.

“They hit us, with hammers, by knife, cutting,” says Rafique, recalling onboard violence between the different groups of migrants. He presents his only possession – a Rohingya identity card from the United Nations high commission for refugees in Bangladesh.

Mother with child seek respite from the sun at the Langsa refugee campMother with child seek respite from the sun at the Langsa refugee camp

Many of those on the ships are from northern Burma’s persecuted Rohingya minority, who have been denied citizenship and voting rights, even though many have lived in the country for generations.

In the majority Buddhist nation, the Rohingya have continued to flee sectarian violence and poor conditions in refugee camps.

Many do so by boat using people smugglers but a recent crackdown by the Thai government is believed to have led to some boats - and their human cargo - being abandoned at sea.

In Langsa, Amin, a former farmer in Burma, tells of how his village was set alight in a violent attack several years ago. His mother, he says, was burned to death because she was too old to escape.

“The government is torturing us,” says Zukura Khotun, a mother of three who fled Burma’s Rakhine state and boarded a boat in the hope she could be reunited with her husband in Malaysia.

Others in the camp from Bangladesh are also quick to identify themselves as ethnic Rohingya Muslims, some saying they were travelling to Malaysia for work, to get married or to join their family members.

No one can say exactly how many people passed away on board. Rafique, who says he spent his whole life in a refugee camp in Bangladesh until starting on the sea voyage, claims that up to 200 people died during the journey.


But it is impossible to immediately verify or corroborate their stories.

Sayed Oestman, head of the Langsa development committee says there are still palpable tensions between the two groups of migrants who are divided at the camp after the vicious fighting at sea.

“So far we hear the Bangladeshi, they are the workers planning to go to Malaysia,” says Oestman, “The Rohingyas from Burma are saying they are fleeing conflict in their country.”

More than 1,000 people have arrived on Aceh’s shores on dilapidated vessels over the past week.

Inside the tents at Langsa women nurse their children while sipping water or small cartons of warm Milo in the afternoon heat as wafts of burning plastic blow over them from the fires being used to burn rubbish.

Indonesian volunteers are tacking up toilet cubicles out of thin plywood and a mountain of second-hand clothes has been dumped in the grass. Oestman says there is an urgent need for medication and vitamins at the camp. Twenty-five migrants have been admitted to the local general hospital.

Read on:- http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/17/they-hit-us-with-hammers-by-knife-rohingya-migrants-tell-of-horror-at-seahttp://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/17/they-hit-us-with-hammers-by-knife-rohingya-migrants-tell-of-horror-at-sea
20 More Awesome Quotes from The Blacklist’s Raymond Reddington

1. “Be careful, Lizzie. Because the truth of it is once you start down this road, there’s no logical place to stop. You could see to her education, health insurance, housing. You can watch her. Or have her watched. Keep her safe. Try to ascertain her… hopes, dreams, desires. Pull strings, call in favors to discreetly smooth the path. And, for the first few years, it may work. You’ll draw some measure of virtue from being her invisible benefactor. But, that won’t last. It’s all a fraud. That it’s really not about her at all. That it’s all about you. And you’re just… going through the motions to salve your own guilt. But, all the money, all the time and effort, all the favors in the world cannot possibly equal what you took away from her. Everything else is… just a nice gesture.”

2. “In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.”

3. “Everybody likes apples.”

4. “Agent Keen, in this world, there are no sides. Only players.”

5. “Revenge isn’t a passion. It’s a disease. It eats at your mind, and poisons your soul.”

6. “Agent Ressler. Once you cross over, there are things in the darkness that can keep your heart from feeling the light again.”

7. “Last night, I got up for a scoop of orange sherbet and she caught my eye. I just stood here in the dark squinting at her. Poor thing ruined my appetite. Even after I went back to bed, all I could hear was the hideous music she must be playing. Didn’t sleep a wink.”

8. “I was once on the island of Ko Ri, free diving in the Andaman Sea. I fell terribly ill, stung by a lionfish. I was dehydrated and in excruciating pain. I had lost all sense of time and place, completely disoriented. But I knew I was dying. So I readied myself for it. And in that moment at death’ door, I looked up… And standing over me in the brightness was this landless Moken Sea Gypsy. Just standing there. Smiling. She and her tribe nursed me back to health. Good as new. When I left the island, she kissed me, it was like a burst of sunlight on my cheek. It was… It made nearly dying welling worth it. That’s how I feel now.”

9. “I met Dr. Sanders here through a mutual friend to discuss a very delicate and underfunded research project. As I recall, the science was awesome, but financially precarious. We did, however, spend a glorious weekend in God’s Country with two snow bunnies who were dead ringers for the Swiss Miss Girl.”

10. “Reciprocity’s a bitch, right, dahling? Screw the bear, the bear screws back. Batteries not included.”

11. “I finally had a chance to see her, Sam. There’s a fire inside she got from you. She’s volatile, unpredictable, soft, and hard, and… soft again. Stronger than she knows. You gave her an incredible gift, Sam. Taking her in and loving her as your own.”

12. “Then you’ll just have to find another criminal to talk to Elizabeth Keen and make fun of Agent Ressler.”

13. “Yes. It’ll undoubtedly take some time. But I’m sure she’ll be fine. He’ll always be there with her. Standing in the shadows to keep her safe. Laughing with her in the light. Watching through her eyes, all those who get close. He’ll always be there. She will be fine.”

14. “When I was young, I wanted to dance. I saw Gary Cooper dance on the screen, it was wonderful. Years later when I saw Gary, he looked old and grey. It turned out he had a cracked heart valve, very difficult to fix. He was on a waiting list to the end of his days. Just like Elias.”

15. You’re already in their hands. The only thing they haven’t done is close their fist.

16. “As my father used to say to me, just because you’ve been bumped up to first chair in the orchestra, doesn’t mean you can compose a symphony.”

17. “Every cause has more than one effect.”

18. “You seem younger in person than you appear to be when lurking in the background on television. Are you a swimmer?”

19. “My God! It tastes so good! I hesitate to swallow and I certainly don’t wanna spit it out. Oh, what the hell?”

20. “You two out here, playing grab ass in the woods just smacks of something biblical.

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Broadclub Cuttlefish (Sepia latimanus)

…a species of cuttlefish that is distributed from the Andaman Sea, east to Fiji, and south to northern Australia. Broadclub cuttlefish are the second largest species of cuttlefish, they are dwarfed only by Sepia apama. Like other cuttlefish S. latimanus is capable of changing both its body color and texture. It uses this ability in courtship and to catch prey. S. latimanus feeds mainly on shrimp of the genus Palaemon and will “mesmerize” its prey with rhythmic bands of color.

Classification

Animalia-Mollusca-Cephalopoda-Sepiida-Sepiidae-Sepia-(Sepia)-S. latimanus

Images: Tongjin and Nick Hobgood

a Hawksbill Sea Turtle reaches adulthood at around 30 years old, with a lifespan into its 50s. Weighing up to around 200 pounds, they’re one of the smaller turtle species in the ocean. The Hawksbill earns its name from its birdlike beak, which it uses to reach into cracks and crevices along a coral reef, feeding on sponges and small to medium sized invertebrates - photo taken in the North Andaman Sea, Thailand

I decided it is time to start posting photos from Asia! Lets start with the lionfish in its NATURAL habit. Taken in the Andaman Sea, Ko Lanta Thailand.

Sorry, no big pelagics yet. I won’t hold out on you though when we find them!