Connect with us


3,000 Burmese “still missing’ in Phang Nga alone



3,000 Burmese “still missing’ in Phang Nga alone | Thaiger

PHUKET: One month after the tsunami, more than 3,000 Burmese workers in Phang Nga are still unaccounted for, a seminar was told yesterday.

The meeting, arranged by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the international NGO, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), heard that many Burmese are still hiding atop hills and in rubber plantations in the province – often in bad conditions – too scared to seek help from the authorities in case they are deported back to Burma.

FES Coordinator Benjapol Sookhoom said researchers had interviewed more than 100 migrants in districts such as Khao Lak, Baan Koh Khor Khao and Baan Nam Khem – where Burmese people had been employed on construction sites or on fishing boats – between January 15 and 29.

“We asked them about their relatives and close friends they had been in contact with before the disaster occurred,” said K. Benjapol.

“After gathering the data, we calculated that around 3,000 Burmese labourers are still missing [in Phang Nga].

“We intend to present this information to the government in Bangkok and ask for its help in resolving the problem.”

The ILO’s director in East Asia, Christine Evans-Klock, said the seminar – at the Thavorn Grand Plaza hotel in Phuket City – should be the first step toward international organisations working together to improve conditions for the laborers and others like them.

She said, “These migrants have problems communicating with local people so they have little chance of getting other organizations to help them.”

Priorities for the government, according to K. Benjapol, are to make contact with the migrants and offer them food and medical help – as well as help in replacing work permits and other documents lost in the tsunami.

Said K. Benjapol: “I have met survivors with injured arms, who cannot get medical treatment because they have no money. At least one woman survivor has given birth alone, without medical assistance.

“The government should get help to them rapidly, to prevent other problems developing.”

He said the researchers had learned that many Burmese were killed on the boats on which they worked. Between 30 and 50 of them would work on one vessel and many of these were moored near the shoreline at Baan Nam Khem – ironically, because it was considered unlucky to take to the seas when the moon was full – when the tsunami struck.

According to government figures, 500 large fishing boats in Phang Nga were destroyed, many in the Baan Nam Khem area

K. Benjapol said that the situation further north, in Ranong, was still being researched.


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Travel7 hours ago

Where to find underrated international cuisines in Bangkok

Bangkok8 hours ago

Chinatown manhole covers to use art, tech to become cultural map

Transport9 hours ago

Man fights Indian Railways for 22 years for justice (and 9 baht)

Events11 hours ago

Tourism Minister visits Full Moon Party, supports later curfew

Crime11 hours ago

Thais cautioned against fake government websites

Thailand12 hours ago

Another Thai boxer dies from brain injury after fight in Malaysia

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand12 hours ago

Expats in Thailand, Cartoon characters & Letting Loose | Thaiger Bites

Pattaya12 hours ago

VIDEO: Young Thais have a blast at Pattaya Music Festival weekend 2

Pollution13 hours ago

Anti-Corruption Network complains of smelly wastewater in coastal Thai province

Weather13 hours ago

Flooding from overflowing rivers soaks Chiang Rai and the border

Phuket14 hours ago

Phuket police nab 3,373 meth pills from 5 suspects

Pattaya17 hours ago

Pattaya night club owner gives free meals on Thai Mother’s Day

Thailand17 hours ago

Current Thailand Visa Options for Digital Nomads

Central Thailand17 hours ago

Police find fake Covid-19 tests worth millions in central Thailand

World18 hours ago

UPDATE: Rushdie is talking again, attacker pleads not guilty

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11