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US willing to take some boat people

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The United States is willing to take in Rohingya refugees as part of international efforts to cope with Southeast Asia's stranded boat people, the State Department said Wednesday.

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Marie Harf, US State Department spokeswoman: The United States has already welcomed 1,000 Rohingya and will resettle many more. (State Department photo)

US willing to take in Rohingya boat people

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – The United States is willing to take in Rohingya refugees as part of international efforts to cope with Southeast Asia's stranded boat people, the State Department said Wednesday.

Spokeswoman Marie Harf said that the U.S. is prepared to take a leading role in any multicountry effort, organised by the United Nations refugee agency, to resettle the most vulnerable refugees.

In the past three weeks, more than 3,000 people – Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Myanmar and Bangladeshis trying to escape poverty – have landed in overcrowded boats on the shores of various Southeast Asian countries. Aid groups say thousands more are stranded at sea after human smugglers abandoned their boats because of a crackdown by authorities.

In this photograph taken on May 20, 2015, Indonesian residents hand food to Rohingya migrants from Myanmar before they are transported by buses and trucks in Langsa, Aceh province after they were rescued by Indonesian fishermen off the eastern coast of Aceh. AFP PHOTO / ROMEO GACAD

Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand have been reluctant to let the Rohingya in and have turned boats full of hungry, thirsty people away, because they fear a flood of unwanted migrants. But on Wednesday, they relented.

Harf welcomed the governments' decision ``to uphold their responsibilities under international law and provide humanitarian assistance and shelter to 7,000 vulnerable migrants.'' The U.S. would consider requests from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and International Organization for Migration for funds to help receive and screen refugees as they come to shore.

Harf said that since Oct. 1, the U.S. has resettled more than 1,000 Rohingya. Last year, the U.S. accepted nearly 70,000 refugees – people with a well-founded fear of persecution – from around the world.

``I think the Malaysians and the Indonesians have requested some help resettling people. We're taking a careful look at the proposal,'' Harf told reporters in Washington. ``It has to be a multicountry effort. We obviously can't take this all on ourselves. But we are prepared to play a leading role in this effort.''

Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will visit Myanmar on Thursday and urge it to cooperate with Bangladesh to help migrants who are adrift. Harf said he would call for Myanmar to improve conditions inside the country for Rohingya.

This photo taken on May 20, 2015 shows ethnic Rohingya Muslims collecting water at a well at a camp set up outside the city of Sittwe in Myanmar's Rakhine state. Rohingya flee western Myanmar by the thousands annually to escape years of violence and discrimination at the hands of the Buddhist majority. AFP PHOTO / YE AUNG THU

``The only sustainable solution to the problem is changing the conditions that let them put their lives at risk at the first place,'' Blinken, the second-ranking U.S. diplomat, told reporters in Indonesia.

At least 120,000 minority Muslim Rohingya have fled sectarian violence and apartheid-like conditions in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar in the past three years. Myanmar officials refer to the group as ``Bengalis'' and insist they have immigrated illegally from Bangladesh, even though most have lived in the country for generations.

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Vocabulary:

abandon : to leave someone/something - ปล่อยทิ้งไว้

adrift (adv): (of a boat or someone in a boat) not tied to anything or is floating without being controlled by anyone - ล่องลอย (ไม่ได้วางสมอเรือ)

aid : help; assistance - ความช่วยเหลือ

annually : happening every year - ทุกๆปีด

assistance : help; aid - ความช่วยเหลือ

at risk : in danger - ตกอยู่ในความเสี่ยง

authority (noun): a person or government agency who has the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ

conditions : the circumstances or situation in which people live, work or do things - เหตุการณ์, สภาพการ, สถานการณ์

consider : to give careful thought to something before making a decision - พิจารณา

cooperate : to work with other people to achieve a result that is good for everyone involved - ร่วมมือกัน

cope : to deal successfully with a difficult situation - รับมือกับ

crackdown : strong action that someone in authority takes to stop a particular activity - การใช้กำลังสลายผู้ประท้วง

deputy : a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation - รอง

diplomat : an official whose job is to represent their government in a foreign country - นักการทูต

discrimination : the practice of treating someone or a particular group in society less fairly than others - การเลือกปฏิบัติ, การแบ่งแยก

effort : an attempt to do something - ความพยายาม

ethnic : of a group of people with the same culture or traditions - กลุ่มชาติพันธุ์

flee : to leave a place or person quickly because you are afraid of possible danger - หนี อพยพ

flood : a large amount or number of something - จำนวนมาก

generation : a group of people in society, a type of technology, a system, etc. which exists at a certain time - รุ่น

humanitarian : relating to efforts to help people who are living in very bad conditions and are suffering because of a war, flood, earthquake etc - มีมนุษยธรรม

illegally : in a way that is against the law - อย่างผิดกฎหมาย

immigrate : to come into a country because you want to live there - อพยพ, ย้ายถิ่นที่อยู่, ย้ายถิ่นฐาน, ย้ายไปตั้งรกรากที่ใหม่

improve : to make better - ทำให้ดีขึ้น

insist : to keep saying very firmly that something is true - ยืนกราน ยืนยัน

majority : more than half of the people in a group - ส่วนมาก

migration : moving from one place to another - การอพยพ

minority : of a part of a population that is different in race, religion or culture form most of the population - ชนกลุ่มน้อย

multicountry (adj): involving/including more than one country - นานาชาติ

obviously : clearly - เห็นได้ชัด, อย่างชัดแจ้ง

overcrowded (adj): with too many people or things in it - ซึ่งแออัดยัดเยียด

persecution : unfair or cruel treatment over a long period of time because of race, religion, or political beliefs - การกลั่นแกล้ง, การข่มเหง, การข่มเหงรังแก

poverty : the condition of being extremely poor - ความจน

predominantly : mostly or mainly - มีอิทธิพลเหนือ, มีมากกว่า

proposal : a plan or suggestion for a group to consider - ข้อเสนอ

ranking : the position of somebody/something on a scale that shows how good or important they are in relation to other similar people or things, especially in sport - อันดับ

refugee : someone who leaves their country or living place, especially during a war or other threatening event - ผู้ลี้ภัย

relent (verb): to finally agree to something after refusing - ยอมให้, ผ่อนผันให้, ลดหย่อนให้

reluctant : not very willing to do something and therefore slow to do it - ไม่เต็มใจ

reporter : someone whose job is to write articles or make broadcasts about events in the news - ผู้สื่อข่าว, นักข่าว

rescue : to save a person or animal from a dangerous or unpleasant situation - ช่วยชีวิต

resettle : to relocate; to move to another place to live - ไปตั้งรกรากใหม่

resident : a person who lives in a particular area - ผู้ที่อาศัยในท้องที่

responsibility : a moral duty to behave in a particular way - ความรับผิดชอบ

role : the position or purpose that someone or something has in a situation, organisation, society or relationship - บทบาท

screen : to find out information about people to see if they are suitable for something - สครีน, คัดเลือก, แยกออก, เลือกออก

Secretary of State (noun): (in the US) the head of the government department that deals with foreign affairs - รัฐมนตรีต่างประเทศของสหรัฐอเมริกา

shelter : a temporary place to stay - ที่พักชั่วคราว

shore : the land along the edge of the sea or ocean, a lake or another large area of water - ชายฝั่ง

smuggler : a person who takes things or people to or from a place secretly and often illegally - ผู้ลักลอบขนสินค้าหรือคนหรือสัตว์เข้าและออกจากประเทศอย่างผิด

solution : a way of solving a problem or dealing with a difficult situation - วิธีแก้ปัญหา

State Department (noun): the US government department of foreign affairs - กระทรวงการต่างประเทศ (อเมริกัน)

stranded : left somewhere with no way of going anywhere else - ปล่อยเกาะ ถูกทิ้งไว้

sustainable : able to be successfully continued for a long time - ยั่งยืน, ถาวร

thirsty : needing or wanting to drink - กระหายน้ำ

transport : to move people or things from one place to another   - ขนส่ง

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (noun): a UN agency which helps refugees at the request of a government or the UN itself - สำนักงานข้าหลวงใหญ่เพื่อผู้ลี้ภัยแห่งสหประชาชาติ

uphold : to defend or keep to a principle or law; to show that you support something by what you say or do - รับรอง พิทักษ์รักษา ยืนหนัด

urge : to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take - ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น

violence : physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people - ความรุนแรง, การใช้กำลังทำลาย

vulnerable : easily damaged or harmed - ซึ่งถูกทำลายได้ง่าย

well : a deep hole in the ground from which people obtain water - บ่อน้ำ

well-founded (adj): having good reasons or evidence to cause or support it - มีเหตุผลดี,สมเหตุสมผล

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