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Phuket: Future uncertain for Rohingya children

PHUKET: 102 Rohingya people fleeing persecution in the Arakan (Rakhine) State of Burma were discovered in Phuket yesterday.


Nattha Thepbamrung

Sunday 24 March 2013, 11:15AM


The first group of Rohingya were found at around 9.30am at the Laem Panwa Mosque by Wichit Police. There were eight men, one woman and two children.

The second group, consisting of of 91 Rohingya were found in Rawai at around the same time. Of the group, there were 53 adults, with only 3 of which were women. The remaining 38, the police believe are children.

"They do not have any documents to verify their age so we cannot really accurately judge whether some of them are children or adults," Pol Lt Angkhan Yasanop, Phuket Immigration Police told The Phuket News.

It is for this reason Lt Angkhan explains, that they have not been taken to a children’s shelter house.

However, he did add that immigration police had already requested a medical team from Vachira Hospital to try to ascertain their age from examinations of their teeth.

The adults, meanwhile, are currently in the detention room of the Phuket Immigration Police. 

"There is still no clear plan from the central government to deal with the Rohingya who are pouring in to the south of Thailand," Lt Angkhan said.

Lt Angkhan added that the second group of 91 Rohingya sailed from Rakhine on January 22, bound for Malaysia but got lost in Indian waters. 

They were arrested by Indian Police on January 26, detained and deported from the country on March 19, which is when they yet again attempted to get to Malaysia.

Their boat broke down on the way to their destination and so they anchored nearby Rawai and were subsequently arrested.

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