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


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


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.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Tourism39 mins ago

Foreign airlines give up 80% of their slots at Thailand’s airports amid uncertainty of next 5 months

Thailand48 mins ago

Phu Quoc to re-open, Covid cluster prompts fear, Scrapping tradition | Good Morning Thailand | Ep. 115

Thailand1 hour ago

Thai government presents actor Russell Crowe with “thank you” gift basket

Sponsored3 weeks ago

Thailand private investigators will uncover the truth for you

Welcome back to Thailand!

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

Chiang Mai1 hour ago

Big vaccination push in Chiang Mai in bid to combat Covid-19 surge

Coronavirus Vaccines2 hours ago

First batch of Moderna doses to arrive Monday

Tourism3 hours ago

Government under pressure to lift alcohol ban, allow nightlife to resume

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Monday Covid Update: 8,675 new cases and 44 deaths

Vietnam18 hours ago

Ho Chi Minh launches 3-stage reopening plan, international on January 1

Kanchanaburi19 hours ago

Border shacks to be demolished for aiding Burmese immigrants

Tourism19 hours ago

Tourism calls for Russia and India to be added to safe list

Economy20 hours ago

Bank of Thailand plans real-world test of digital currency in 2022

Hua Hin21 hours ago

Hua Hin calls for delay in reopening amid Covid-19 infections

Chiang Mai21 hours ago

Chiang Mai Covid-19 infections swell ahead of reopening

Koh Samui22 hours ago

Thailand’s bars and beach parties remain strictly closed (cough)

Coronavirus (Covid-19)23 hours ago

Covid-19 Sunday: Deaths fall to low of 56, provincial data

Thailand1 month ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Tourism8 months ago

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

Phuket8 months ago

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

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

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

Tourism8 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand10 months ago

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

Thailand10 months ago

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