Thailand Rejects Myanmar Refugees

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Thousands of people fleeing Myanmar after a coup brought back military rule found themselves detained along Thailand’s borders. Thai soldiers are not allowing them to enter and are told to go back, according to Reuters on March 30, 2021.

ThailandMark Farmaner, head of Burma Campaign U.K., stated that thousands of refugees had been forced back to a Myanmar displacement camp. At the same time, a video shows refugees boarding boats while Thai soldiers watched.

The Chief of Mae Sariang District reported that those fleeing Myanmar should be blocked. He referenced the National Security Council’s policy stating that the military is responsible for maintaining refugees along the border.

Foreign ministry spokesman Tanee Sangrat stated that the Karens’ reports of refugees being sent back were not true and will continue to assess the situation.

Some human rights activists are calling Thailand’s action a “heartless and illegal act.”

In a reversal of opinion, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha stated, on Monday, that they would accept the Myanmar refugees, explaining that they have prepared an area for them. He says they have not yet discussed creating shelters or refugee camps.

The Myanmar coup started on February 1, the day before November 2020 elected officials were supposed to take their oaths of office. The take over of the government happened even though the majority of people were satisfied with the election results.

Military forces have waged war on the country’s infrastructure, suspending television broadcasts, telephone, and internet access, canceling flights, and murdering peaceful and non-peaceful protestors. At least 459 people have been killed and 1,700 detained.

Written by Brenda Robinson
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware


REUTERS: Thailand Denies Forcing Back Myanmar Refugees Blocked At Border; By Panu Wongcha-um, Panarat Thepgumpanat
AP: Thailand denies forcing fleeing villagers back to Myanmar; By Tassanee Vejpongsa
The New York Times: Myanmar’s Unrest, Explained

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Hugh Lunnon’s Flickr’s Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Prachatai’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License


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