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Briefing Why Southeast Asia faces a migration crisis this summer

Thousands of Rohingya Muslims are fleeing by sea from Myanmar, abetted by human smugglers whose crews later abandon ships mid-crossing. The surge in sea crossings has led to finger pointing among neighboring countries. 

Binsar Bakkara/AP

Southeast Asia is facing its worst migration crisis since the years following the end of the Vietnam War. With thousands of Rohingya refugees stuck at sea, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia have resorted to playing what a UN agency calls “maritime ping-pong with human lives.”