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A Rohingya woman cries after her apprehension on Phuket

Boatpeople Fear 'Certain Death' in Burma

Thursday, May 16, 2013
PHUKET: A group of senior national officials has been checking on conditions in which Rohingya boatpeople are being detained in Thailand.

Member of Parliament Samas Nalulem, who is also a member of the Border Affairs Commission, visited the women and children being held in a Phuket family refuge yesterday.

It's believed the Phuket visit is just one of several to refuges and Immigration detention centres where about 2000 Rohingya men, women and children are being held throughout Thailand.

Three women and 17 children are being held on Phuket at the family centre together with a group of men in detention in cells at Phuket Immigration in Phuket City.

Teenage boys have absconded from the Phuket family centre and from a larger family centre in Phang Nga, the province north of Phuket, where 72 women and children remain.

According to a source based in Surat Thani, where Rohingya are also being held, concern among all detainees is mounting as the six-month deadline draws closer for a decision on the status and future of the boatpeople being held in Thailand.

Six weeks remain in the original six-months timeframe set by the Thai Government. Officials from Burma are believed to have suggested that Burma would be willing to take back the Rohingya.

The detainees would have preferred to have been ''helped on'' to Malaysia, which was Thailand's policy before raids on secret border camps and the apprehension of several boats off the Thai coast through January.

The Surat Thani source told Phuketwan today: ''Rohingya here are in tears and horrified at the thought they might be sent back to Burma.

''They would rather take their chances in Thailand than go back to what they believe would be certain death in Burma.''

For the first time, women and children joined Rohingya men in fleeing to sea this October-April ''sailing season'' because they had been torched from their homes by their Buddhist neighbors in Rakhine state.

Most of the 140,000 homeless Rohingya in Rakhine state have been herded into shanty camps for displaced persons where life has become even harder and less promising.

Although a party from the Australian embassy is also reported to have visited Rohingya in detention on Phuket, in Phang Nga and in Ranong, no other options exist at present for the captive boatpeople.

Comments

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Why the government not allow full working athurity to UNHCR to decide Refugee status of these war Refugees ?

Some NGOs and Human Rights workers may try to get release of these Rohingyas as per HELP ON POLICY.This so called HELP ON POLICY is nonsense but only helping Human trafficking. Human traffickers are waiting to get all these 2000 inmates through HELP ON POLICY. They should earn minimum 2000 USD per person x 2000= 4,000,000 (Four Millon USD).This trafficking business has been going since Rohingyas boat people started landing here.

Previously all detainees or Rohingyas reached in Thailand automatically fall at the hands of traffickers. Since end of January to now, unknown Rohingyas fell at the hands of traffickers .

Despite my calling in this regards for many months ,the boat people fate are still uncertain. The UNHCR publicly stated that Rohingyas boat people are not sent back to concentration camps of Burma. UNHCR is expecting Thai gov clear policy to get involve personal protection interview .

As a concerned party ,I will oppose so called HELP ON POLICY this time .

I am again calling to Honorable Prime Minister's good office to halt 'Help on' policy and allow UNHCR free access to determine Refugee status of this feeling Roingyas from genocide.

Posted by Maung Kyaw Nu,President,Burmese Rohingya Association in Thailand ,BRAT on May 17, 2013 00:52


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