Authorities in Myanmar are continuing their sad task in trying to recover the bodies of some 70 Rohingyas, who drowned off the nation’s coast when a vessel they were sailing in capsized in treacherous seas.

It is a tragedy, not just of the seas but also of the fact that these people felt coerced into having to take to the waves in the first place. The Muslim Rohingyas have faced years of discrimination with Myanmar authorities turning a blind eye to their plight.

The Rohingyas have, in the past two years, faced widespread communal violence where their mosques have been looted and desecrated and their homes and businesses put to the torch. And sadly, human rights groups have collected impartial evidence that suggests Myanmar law enforcement and security officials were compliant in aiding and abetting the rioters. While there are some 800,000 Rohingyas living in Myanmar, they are viewed and treated as stateless persons with no rights and little protection under the law. And sadly, Myanmar’s record in treating all of its minority peoples is equally depressing and distressing.