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Lack of Rohingya policy strains Phuket Immigration

PHUKET: The lack of clear government policy on Rohingya refugees who land in Phuket and other parts of Thailand is causing strains on local official facilities, says a representative of the Phuket Immigration Police.


Nattha Thepbamrung

Tuesday 26 March 2013, 10:59AM


Lives on hold: Until the government devises a policy to handle the Rohingya they will have to wait, some in cells, some in shelters.
Lives on hold: Until the government devises a policy to handle the Rohingya they will have to wait, some in cells, some in shelters.

“The government still has no plan for us to deal with them,” said Capt Angkhan Yasanop of Phuket Immigration Police today (March 26).

“Also, there is no plan for public donations to Rohingya people being held in the Immigration Police Station.”

The 102 Rohingya people who landed on Phuket on Saturday (March 23) have been separated into three groups because there is not enough space in the cells at Phuket Immigration Police.

“There are 38 men left in the Immigration cells. Another 35 were sent to Ranong Immigration Police and 29 women and children are staying at the [Department of Social Development and Welfare’s] Phuket Shelter for Children & Families on Koh Siray,” he said.

He said food, water and clothing for the Rohingya people in Phuket are being paid for by Phuket Immigration Police. The central government has no plan for handling the Rohingya, and has allocated no budget for looking after them, he said.

“We still do not know how long they will have to spend in Thailand, or where we will have to send them to after this,” said Capt Angkhan.

“We have to keep them with us until the government comes up with a policy for them.”

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