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Pattaya Daily News

12 February 2009 :: 22:02:27 pm 39107

Army Chief to Visit Myanmar to Discuss Rohingya Problem

BANGKOK, Feb 12 - Thailand's army commander said on Thursday he would travel to Myanmar next week to discuss the Rohingya migrant problem with Myanmar?s military junta.
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General Anupong Paochinda did not disclose details of his planned trip, but said he would discuss with the junta leaders essential information provided by the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Thai military has been under heavy criticism from the international media, foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and human rights advocates for alleged mistreatment of hundreds of Rohingya boat people by pushing them out to sea with few supplies.

Thailand’s military top brass, however, have denied the allegations.

The issue has prompted the Thai government to seek cooperation from other countries in the region who face the same concerns, as well as with the United Nations refugee agency to deal with the problem at the root cause.

Gen. Anupong said a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC), the foreign ministry and security agencies concerned agreed that the foreign ministry should seek cooperation from regional countries concerned with the problem to find a solution.

Eighty-three Rohingyas are now being detained by the Thai Police’s Immigration Bureau, the army chief said.

Commenting on growing concerns here over the setting up of Rohingya migrants centre, Gen. Anupong said the issue is up to the Thai government to consider, noting that many sectors in Thai society were against the notion for fear that it might cause a problem in the long term as well as encourage a Rohingya exodus to Thailand.

The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs earlier brushed aside claims that the illegal migrants were at risk of being persecuted in their own country, saying that the sea-borne Rohingya migrants coming to Thailand in increasing numbers are economic migrants, and not persons facing persecution in their home country. (TNA)


Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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