Connect with us


Rohingya “help-on’ policy announced in Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan explained to the press in Phuket that Thailand would be proceeding with a clear ‘help-on’ policy when dealing with Rohingya and Bangladeshi entering the country.

“We will never push away these people. However, if they do land in Thailand they will have to face the same laws that apply to anyone illegally entering the country,” Gen Prawit said, following a closed-door meeting with Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Navy Admiral Kraisorn Chansuvanich, Royal Thai Police Commissioner Gen Somyot Poompanmoung, Commander of the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command Vice Admiral Sayan Prasongsamrej and other high-ranking officials.

“What we will do is provide them with the basic necessities, such as food, water and medicine, so they can continue on their journey – their final destination, which is not Thailand. “We will even help the fix their boat engines, if that is what they need.”

Gen Prawit vehemently denied that the ‘help-on’ policy was simply pushing them away.

“How can they say we push them away? This is wrong – we are both being humane and following the laws of Thailand. Basic human rights and needs are essential,” Gen Prawit said.

In an exclusive interview with the Gazette following the meeting, V/Adm Sayan explained that his understanding, in accordance with Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, was that Rohingya would not be treated as asylum seekers.

“We have no permanent shelters for Rohingya in Thailand. What we currently have are places they are being held as due process is carried out in the legal system,” V/Adm Sayan said. “There is such a large number of them, and we cannot simply accept them all.

“However, we are doing our best to help them. For example, more than 300 Rohingya were left adrift in a boat with a broken engine recently, and we found them, provided them with food, water, medicine and fixed their boat [story here].”

V/Adm pointed out that Thailand wasn’t alone in facing this type of situation and insisted that media coverage was essential for providing transparency.

“It is important for the media to show what Thailand is doing and how our actions are humane. We are helping them,” he said.

“Other countries seem to want to blame Thailand for the choices it is making, but Italy and other countries around the world face the same issues – there are many problems with migrant people wanting to enter the European Union, but being denied.

“The key is not to place blame, but to search for a solution.”

— Kritsada Mueanhawong


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


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:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Health Department warns: Avoid Covid-19, don’t have sex

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

PM Prayut announces Thailand will fully reopen within 120 days

Transport9 hours ago

Thai Airways rehabilitation plan accepted by Bankruptcy Court

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Thailand9 hours ago

Thailand News Today | PM apologises, vaccine delays, Pattaya sandbox? and sharks | June 16

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Restaurants request easing of Covid-19 rules and financial aid

Thailand10 hours ago

Isaan farmer and son electrocuted and killed by wire fence in rice field

Thailand11 hours ago

Another data breach: Info leaked on Bangkok Immigration website

Crime11 hours ago

Krabi men arrested after TikTok video of a shark shot and killed goes viral

Thailand12 hours ago

Thailand’s FDA doesn’t approve Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, cites missing data

Best of12 hours ago

Top 8 Things to do in Krabi

Thailand12 hours ago

Thai government apologises for data leak, blames “temporary glitch”

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

6 school closed after infections are found

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: 2,331 new cases; provincial totals

Best of15 hours ago

Top 5 Meditation Centres and Retreats in Thailand

Phuket15 hours ago

Thai police chief donates 100,000 baht to Phuket man shot by a drunk officer

Thailand3 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Phuket4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8