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The Rohingya issue media conference and round-table in Bangkok yesterday

Rohingya Have Help From Officials to Escape, Media Told

Sunday, August 25, 2013
BANGKOK: Thailand should allow Rohingya to work freely rather than imprisoning them in atrocious conditions at detention centres, a media conference was told yesterday.

Speakers at the media conference endorsed the view that with migrant worker status, the Rohingya could be reunited with their families.

''Thailand would no longer be accused of human rights violations if the Government treated them with more compassion,'' said Surapong Kongchantuk of the
Human Rights Committee, Lawyers Council of Thailand.

Some Thai authorities were already so frustrated with the indefinite detention of Rohingya that they were assisting the boatpeople to escape.

''They could not break out by themselves,'' Khun Surapong said.

Men remained separated from women and children and there had been no real attempt to develop a workable policy that allowed captive Rohingya to be reunited as families, he added.

''The Thai government is prepared to talk face-to-face with the Burmese government about large economic projects but not to talk face-to-face about Burma resolving this issue,'' Khun Surapong said.

Sunai Phasuk, a Human Rights Watch advisor, said it was shameful that Burma was about to assume the chair of Asean in 2014, yet Asean had done nothing to solve the Rohingya issue.

''Why doesn't Asean force Burma to resolve this problem?'' he asked.

If allowed to live freely in Thailand, the Rohingya held captive since January could self-report to authorities periodically and would not be a drain on the Thai economy.

Muslim communites had said they were prepared to take responsibility for caring for the Rohingya.

Thailand's Navy, the Army, Isoc and Immigration did not treat the would-be refugees to standards required by international law, the conference heard.

Allegations that Thai citizens, police, Isoc, the Army, and Immigration officials had engaged in human trafficking should be independently investigated, the meeting was told.

In just a few weeks, thousands more Rohingya are expected to take to boats for the next ''sailing season'' with a resolution of the issue no closer.

Eight Rohingya men are reported to have died in custody in Thailand this year. Protests and escapes from Immigration centres, family welfare centres and police stations are expected to continue.

Saturday's media conference and round-table discussion was organised by the Burmese Rohingya Association in Thailand.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Escape to where? with what resources no money no food no transport no documents or identity papers bare chested and bare foot how far could you get.

Posted by slickmelb on August 26, 2013 03:20

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You can be sure that, when these people are roaming in the streets with no money, criminal activity will be at large. It's human nature to survive, by all means. Keep doors, windows and cars locked. These people got nothing to lose.

Posted by Charles on August 26, 2013 09:13

Editor Comment:

Ascribing your misanthropic traits to others shows what a poor example you set. The world has far more to fear from unthinking bigots than from Rohingya, Charles.

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I wasn't talking about the world. I was talking about Phuket, where you, mr Ed, are also placed. Maybe if your belongings are missing one day, you might sing another tune. I can understand why these people are unwanted everywhere. They're trouble.

Posted by Charles on August 26, 2013 11:42

Editor Comment:

They're not trouble, Charles. People who form views without any knowledge or experience of what they are talking about are ''trouble.''

The biggest drawback of the Internet era is that it empowers people who know nothing to imagine that their worthless opinions are worth sharing.

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The Rohingyas are very happy and pleased of the editor MS.Chutima Sidasathian's presence and solidarity at Pres Conference -The Rohingya "unwanted and alone in Thailand---" .The Rohingya has average peaceful family life before the racist regime of Burma started genocide , looted their properties and making them stateless in their own land.After reading Charles' comment , I recalled of Jews who were escapees of genocides and wondering about Rohingyas today. Does Charles would like to comment the helpless Jews during Hitler era as he commented Rohingyas ?

Posted by Maung Kyaw Nu,President,Burmese Rohingya Association in Thailand (BRAT) on August 26, 2013 21:56


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