Pattaya Daily News

12 February 2009 :: 07:02:27 am 39112

Thailand Upset with Jolie Comments On Rohingya; Migrants On Asean Agenda

BANGKOK, Feb 11 Thailand‘s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday berated Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) over the actress‘ recent comments that Thailand should respect the rights of the Rohingya boat people from Myanmar.
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Permanent Secretary for the Foreign Affairs Veerasak Footrakul told journalists after a meeting presided over by Defence Minister Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan that the Academy Award-winning actress and UNHCR goodwill ambassador visited a Thai refugee camp for refugees from Myanmar last week.

Her visit coincided with the Rohingya boat people issue has received public attention, said Mr. Veerasak, adding that the Thai government will have to ask the UN agency to refrain from commenting on the issue since the actress’ visit to the country was not focused on the boat people.

Jolie, according to wire service reports, visited Myanmar refugees in a Thai camp last week and was quoted as saying that fair treatment of refugees in the northern camps “makes me hope that Thailand will be just as generous to the Rohingya refugees who are now arriving on their shores.”

Upsetting by her comments, Mr. Veerasak reiterated that Thailand would raise the Rohingya issue at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit to be held late this month in the Thai coastal town of Hua Hin.

Three or four ASEAN member countries are affected by the Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic group from Myanmar, said Mr. Veerasak, and talks are needed to find a solution because it has become a common problem.

Stressing that Thailand’s stance over the Rohingyas remains unchanged as the government considers them as “economic migrants and not refugees,” Mr. Veerasak said the government will ask international organisations to take the Rohingyas and send them to the country where they have come from. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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