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Phuket Reporter Joins Rohingya Panel

Phuket Reporter Joins Rohingya Panel

Saturday, May 30, 2015
PHUKET: Phuketwan journalist Chutima Sidasathian will be joining a panel at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand in Bangkok on Wednesday to discuss 'Boatloads of Misery: Southeast Asia and the Rohingya pushback.'

She is likely to be asked why the Royal Thai Navy mistranslated a paragraph republished from Reuters so it could sue Phuketwan journalists instead of acting on other articles about traffickers' secret jungle camps, murders and rapes.

There is a growing realisation that thousands of desperate men, women and children could be condemned to die in the waters of the Bay of Bengal, Andaman Sea and Straits of Malacca.

The governments of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia are refusing them refuge when they enter their maritime territories, and prevent them coming ashore if possible.

The story is further complicated because the refugees and migrants are controlled by smugglers and traffickers who ransom them. A massive trade in human misery is feeding on this crisis.

Most of those aboard are Rohingya Muslims fleeing statelessness, economic repression and what some describe as genocide. On board the boats, the would-be migrants are violated and deprived of food, water and medical attention; one in seven are women; a third are under 18.

There is international and public concern about the situation, but governments appear frozen in the headlights of an unfolding tragedy.

Boatloads of misery: Southeast Asia and the Rohingya pushback

Panel discussion and dinner, 7pm, Wednesday June 3, 2015

The Panel:

Lillian Fan, Research Associate, Humanitarian Policy Group, Overseas Development Institute and founder of Gaetayun Yayasan in Aceh, has recently returned from Aceh where she visited the camps that have been set up for Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi migrants. She conducts work in Rakhine State, Myanmar and is an expert on humanitarian action.

Matthew Smith is the founder and executive director of Fortify Rights, an organisation that works to strengthen the human rights movement by providing technical support to human rights defenders while also documenting human rights abuses. He has been in southern Thailand during the refugee crisis and has also documented the persecution of Rohingya for Human Rights Watch.

Chutima Sidasathian is a winner of regional human rights and investigative reporting awards during her years of coverage of the Rohingya exodus through Thailand. She now faces a maximum of seven years in jail for republishing a Reuters Pulitzer prize-winning paragraph.

Pricing details:

Members: No cover charge, buffet dinner is 350 baht
Cover charge for non-members: 350 Baht, Buffet dinner: 350 baht, for members and non-members alike.

Reservations: To ensure sufficient food for the buffet, we would greatly appreciate your making a buffet reservation at least one day before the program if you plan to join us for the dinner.

(No penalty for cancellation if last minute conflicts arise.) Please also note that tables/seats will be reserved only for those with advance buffet bookings.

To reserve, please call 02-652-0580-1 or click here to send an e-mail

Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand

Penthouse, Maneeya Center Building
518/5 Ploenchit Road (connected to the BTS Skytrain Chit Lom station)
Patumwan, Bangkok 10330


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Chutima is not a light weight in the media world, au contraire. All the best in Bangkok.

Posted by farang888 on May 30, 2015 23:12

Editor Comment:

She's a PhD candidate on Rohingya ethnicity as well so she keeps busy. Her advice has recently been sought by the Prime Minister's office.


I agree with your sentiments Farang888.

Chutima has done a great job in helping to bring the plight of the Rohingya to the world's attention.

I note that the number of hits for her Youtube video "ROHINGYA REFUGEES FACE SMUGGLERS, SLAVERY AND BAD BOATS" has trebled from about 9,000 before the discovery of the mass graves to about 27,000 hits now.

Posted by Ian Yarwood on May 31, 2015 09:00

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