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Burmese survivors of a suffocation incident on the road to Phuket, 2008

Phuket Trafficking Report Cited in Plea to UN Chief

Monday, October 25, 2010
HUMAN rights groups have cited an article written by two Phuket journalists in calling on the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to intervene to prevent further abuse of Burmese migrants deported from Thailand.

Mr Ban is due to meet Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva in Bangkok on Tuesday.

The three organisations, the State Enterprise Workers Relations Confederation, the Thai Labor Solidarity Committee and the Human Rights and Development Foundation, today called on the Thai Government ''to ensure transparent investigations into all migrant deportation abuse claims and punish those involved.

The Thai Government ''should also urgently reconsider its migration policies more generally to ensure respect for migrant's human rights.''

The statement from the groups said: '''The South China Morning Post' revealed migrants are being sold to traffickers during deportations in waters between Southern Thailand and Kawthuang (Burma/Myanmar) and then returned to Thailand.''

The article in the Hong Kong newspaper was a version of a report that first appeared in Phuketwan on August 31 entitled: ''Burmese Accuse Thai Officials of People Trafficking.''

The article contained interviews with two Burmese who accused officials in the border town of Ranong, north of Phuket, of selling illegal migrants by the boatload to people-smugglers and engaging in the sexual enslavement of young women.

The Phuketwan report was reprinted in the Spectrum section of 'The Bangkok Post' later that week.

Monday's media release from the three rights bodies also said that television channel Al-Jazeera ''reported how migrants deported to Myanmar are being sent to camps controlled by the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army where they must pay for their release before being smuggled or trafficked back to Thailand.''

It added: ''Rights groups have demanded investigations into these allegations since July 2010 but no response has been evident and the abuses continue.''

Mr Ban's visit is also expected to trigger a rally by hundreds of red shirt sympathisers who want an investigation into the Government's handling of the dispersal of the red shirt protests in April and May.

The UN secretary-general's Bangkok visit is part of a four-nation tour of Asia that includes Cambodia, Vietnam and China.
Burmese Accuse Thai Officials of People Trafficking
Latest Burmese caught working illegally in Phuket and along the Andaman coast are taken back to the border town of Ranong, where two Burmese say officials are involved in people trafficking.
Burmese Accuse Thai Officials of People Trafficking

How Phuket's Baby Boom Collides with Corruption
PHOTO ALBUM A pregnant woman who presented to give birth for the second time in two months came as a sign that Phuket's Burma baby boom was out of control. Here's the real story.
How Phuket's Baby Boom Collides with Corruption

Burmese 'Passports' Mark New Phuket Deal
Latest More than 90,000 lowly workers on Phuket will have the chance to legitimise their labor under a proposal discuss at high level bilateral talks on Saturday
Burmese 'Passports' Mark New Phuket Deal

Burma's Secret Exodus: The Illegal Road to Patong
Latest News Phuket and Patong especially rely on large numbers of Burmese workers. Now, as a registration deadline draws near, authorities are cracking down on secret voyagers.
Burma's Secret Exodus: The Illegal Road to Patong

Horror of Human Trade: 54 Die in Phuket Bound Container
The horror of 54 deaths in a sea container of more than 100 smuggled Burmese headed for Phuket highlights a human tragedy that was bound to happen.
Horror of Human Trade: 54 Die in Phuket Bound Container

'Starving' Boatloads: Phuket Call for UN Action
World Exclusive Hundreds of hungry boat people are being apprehended north of Phuket, prompting a call for United Nations intervention. Phuketwan exposes the Andaman's serious human rights issue, the Rohingya.
'Starving' Boatloads: Phuket Call for UN Action

Comments

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Well done yet again, Phukewan! Keep at it.

Posted by Treelover on October 25, 2010 13:18

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What a disgrace ! The people in Thailand and Phuket are not bad people but some are definitely evil. Its time for the good people to start taking control. Things are really out of hand. A monument where the girls were burned to death chained to there beds in the traffic circle in the middle of Phuket town where the water guns from tin mining days spray there water should be put up so that people are reminded of what is going on here. And a monument would remind people of this disgrace and what has gone on here and is still going on that people are being treated as slaves.

Posted by Brian on October 26, 2010 01:57

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@Brian: If you are referring to the Phunpon Road site, I don't believe the houses in that new estate are selling very well. Maybe the empty estate will be the monument.

As for Thais changing their attitude to Burmese... don't hold your breath.

Posted by Mike Boyd on October 26, 2010 14:14

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Have several burmese friends both in Thailand and Malaysia. I have to say that I've never met any more genuine, honest and caring friends in Asia. Its truly sad how some Thai people look down on Burmese. These arrogant individuals could learn a lot from Burmese honesty, friendship and their caring nature. Officials and criminals who are abusing Burmese refugees should be punished severely!

Posted by Leo on October 26, 2010 21:39

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Not all Thais look down on the Burmese. A friend lived in a small village here which had a sizable settlement of Burmese workers. These people were simple, respectful and well behaved (maybe they had to be!), but the police came one evening and in their usual heavy handed way began to round up the foreigners (reason obscure). The local Thais gathered round and stood, arms akimbo, between the police and the Burmese and the incident melted away.
Brian, are you referring to the burning of these girls about 30 years ago? If so, rather non topical, but it would appear that the gangs have gone international. The ailments of Phuket run deep and are getting deeper. If nothing is done this place will truly become just another Pattaya. Send in the SAS.

Posted by A. Skeptic on October 27, 2010 22:20


Wednesday July 17, 2019
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