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Thai Foreign Minister says Karen refugees were not forced back to Myanmar

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Thai Foreign Minister says Karen refugees were not forced back to Myanmar | Thaiger
Karen refugees being evacuated after an air strike. / Photo via Facebook/Karen Information Center- KIC

Following reports and criticism on Thailand forcing Karen refugees back across the Myanmar border, Foreign Minister and Deputy PM Don Pramudwinai says the claims are not true and that Thailand has been caring for refugees for decades.

With the escalating violence in Myanmar following the February 1 military coup, many have fled to Thailand. The United Nations Human Rights Office for Southeast Asia says they’ve received reports that some people seeking safety have been forced to return to their home country. Thai officials have denied claims that refugees have been forced back to Myanmar.

Around 2,800 Karen people crossed the border into Thailand after air attacks. Don says that most returned on their own once the situation de-escalated, but then crossed back over to Thailand after more overnight attacks.

Don says that over the years, those in neighbouring countries who are injured in conflict often flee to Thailand and are treated at Thai hospitals. He says many return to their home country once they have recovered.

“In 1984 there was a major violent incident, and hundreds of thousands of Myanmar people migrated to many provinces of Thailand, and 9 refugee camps were established. Today most of the people have gone back to their homes, but some 90,000 Myanmar people live in these refugee camps along the Thai border.”

Don says Thailand sticks to principles of humanitarianism and will provide assistance to refugees, but border patrol must still look out for ongoing problems such as labour trafficking and the smuggling of contraband and war weapons.

စစ်ကောင်စီ၏ လေကြောင်းပစ်ခတ်မှုကြောင့် တိမ်းရှောင်နေရသည့် မူတြော်(ဖာပွန်)ခရိုင်၊ ထိုင်း-မြန်မာနယ်စပ် သံလွင်မြစ်ကမ်းနံဘေးရှိ အီးတူထာ စစ်ရှောင်ပြည်သူများ ( CJ)

Posted by Karen Information Center -KIC on Thursday, April 1, 2021

 

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Roger Bruce

    Monday, April 5, 2021 at 8:35 pm

    Thailand sticks to principles of humanitarianism
    Frog shit…That is why they back the Burma Military and will not join other nations to condemn them for their actions of murder and torcher and violation of human rights
    The Thai Junta are just the same as the Burmese only not as stupid …but will not go against what they do
    The world sees this now so it will greatly affect Thai tourism except for the Chinese who also back in fact help Burma military..MMM did not Thailand Military give rice to these murdering scum?

    Good Luck Thailand

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Crime

Burmese prisoners granted amnesty on first day of Myanmar’s New Year

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Burmese prisoners granted amnesty on first day of Myanmar’s New Year | Thaiger

Over 23,000 Burmese prisoners and student political activists are enjoying freedom after being released yesterday in an amnesty on the first day of the country’s Lunar New Year celebrations. The state-owned MRTV reported that 23,407 prisoners were released under sections of a penal code. In the Yangon region alone, over 800 prisoners were released, while Mandalay saw around 2,800 released from 5 prisons.

But, with the recent military crackdown on protesters and civilians, the law’s ambiguity may be used against those released. As the law allows for the conditional release of prisoners, that means authorities can re-arrest the prisoners without warrant at any time.

Zayyar Lwin, Paing Ye Thu and Paing Phyo Min were among the released student political activists. The 3 were arrested for writing political Thingyan poems and rhymes. They were arrested under Section 505(a) of the penal code and Section 66(d) of the Telecommunications Law, both of which are regarded by many as draconian tools to oppress dissent.

The junta-led State Administration Council also issued a statement releasing 130 foreign prisoners under the same conditions. There have been 2 other mass releases since the coup. The first was in mid-February, which rights groups feared was a move to free up space for military opponents, and the second on the eve of Armed Forces Day when the regime released around 900 detained demonstrators.

But prisons continue to fill up as more than 3,100 people, mostly anti-coup protesters have been detained. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners has been keeping track of detainees as well as injuries and deaths allegedly at the hands of the junta. It is stil unclear, however, if those released yesterday were post-coup detainees.

Meanwhile, the Burmese military leader, Gen Min Aung Hlaing, is expected to attend an ASEAN summit in Jakarta where representatives of the bloc are expected to discuss Myanmar’s situation. Thailand’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Tanee Sangrat, made the announcement.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Politics

Myanmar junta leader to attend ASEAN summit, activists appalled

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Myanmar junta leader to attend ASEAN summit, activists appalled | Thaiger
Stock photo via Wikimedia Commons

Myanmar’s junta or military leader, Min Aung Hlaing, is expected to attend an ASEAN summit in Jakarta where representatives of the bloc are expected to discuss Myanmar’s situation. Thailand’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Tanee Sangrat, made the announcement.

“I can confirm that the Brunei Chair has proposed the date April 24 with the venue at the Secretariat in Jakarta. Several leaders have confirmed their attendance including Myanmar’s MAH [Senior General Min Aung Hlaing]. Some leaders have yet to confirm.”

The military has consistently justified the putsch by alleging widespread fraud in November’s elections, which Suu Kyi’s party won in a landslide.

The country’s New Year started yesterday, but it was a somber scene as activists traded celebrations for more protests. According to an AFP-verified video filmed by a resident, the New Year holiday saw soldiers crouched on a street as their commanding officer shouted that he wanted “deaths.” A rescue worker told AFP at least 1 person had died.

“He was shot in the stomach.”

The junta has also issued nightly arrest warrants on state-run media, targetting celebrities, influencers, journalists and prominent activists with large social media followings. Doctors refusing to work under the regime — leaving hospitals unstaffed in a pandemic — have also drawn the wrath of the junta. By last night, the arrest warrants totalled 420.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Is spraying disinfectant on the Thai-Burmese border effective?

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Is spraying disinfectant on the Thai-Burmese border effective? | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Spraying disinfectant has been effective in the community but controversial in forested refugee camps.

Some controversy exists over the Royal Thai Army attempting to sterilize areas of the Thailand-Myanmar border by spraying disinfectant along the border region. The army sprayed areas set up as a temporary holding facility for many Burmese refugees. The move drew condemnation from critics who claimed the disinfectant was not effective and not worth the expense of implementation. A spokesperson for the Royal Thai Army responded to social media ire justifying the action.

The spraying was done after the Burmese refugees had returned across the border to Myanmar, after fleeing temporarily to escape the escalating humanitarian crisis following the February 1 military coup. After the refugees left, disinfectant was sprayed around the area in compliance with Public Health directives designed to slow the Covid-19 spread and maintain safety. The disinfectant was intended to kill any possibly contagious remaining virus or disease in the area.

The spokesperson said the military used existing government equipment they requested from the Ministry of Public Health to efficiently disinfect the area. She asserted that the spraying was not just to help local people, but also to reassure them that it was safe to return to their daily lives in the area, to go to work or do farming, without fear of becoming infected with Covid-19.

While the response online to the spraying disinfectant scheme is still generally negative, it’s worth noting that the same spraying has been used to effectively sterilize 162 schools and 268 other areas since January. The spray is a safety precaution to minimize the spread of Covid-19 and has been used throughout communities in places like bus terminals, marketplaces, temples and other places where people tend to gather.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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