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Rohingya migrants pay B65,000 each, house panel told

THAILAND: Rohingya migrants pay 60,000 baht to 65,000 baht each to smugglers to get into Thailand, Maung Kyaw Nu, president of the Burmese Rohingya Association in Thailand, said Wednesday.


Bangkok Post

Thursday 31 January 2013, 04:36PM


The Rohingya arrive at Racha Noi, off Phuket, earlier this week.
The Rohingya arrive at Racha Noi, off Phuket, earlier this week.

He was speaking before the House committee on law, judiciary and human rights at parliament.

The session was attended by state and private organisations concerned with the Rohingya migration issue.

Kyaw Nu said he would encourage the government to grant Rohingya migrants who have arrived in Thailand temporary permission to live and work and receive health care here.

Past ethnic cleansing in Myanmar in which more than 50,000 Rohingya were killed in six months had driven Rohingya to seek shelter in Thailand, according to Kyaw Nu.

The Myanmar authorities had tried to cover up the actual number of Rohingya people killed in the ethnic cleansing, he said.

Kyaw Nu also called on the United Nations to send a peace-keeping force to Myanmar to ensure safety for Rohingya migrants in the event they were sent back home.

He also urged UN agencies to provide temporary shelter in Myanmar for Rohingya deported from Thailand.

A total of 1,486 Rohingya migrants have been rounded up here since early this month, the House panel was told.

Also attending the hearing were Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul, the national police chief, the navy commander, the 4th Army commander, and the governors of Satun, Narathiwat and Songkhla.

Mr Surapong said the government had decided to take care of the illegal Rohingya migrants for six months.

The estimated cost of food for each migrant per day was 75 baht, he said.

The male Rohingya migrants were being detained at the Immigration Bureau while women and children were staying at the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security's shelters for children and women, he said.

The ministry would take ambassadors from member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to visit various sites where Rohingya are held to observe the problem, Mr Surapong said.

The ministry has held talks with international human rights organisations about whether they can ask third countries to grant asylum to the Rohingya migrants. The ministry was also seeking to work with its Myanmar counterpart to ensure the safety of the Rohingya in the event they have to return to Myanmar, Mr Surapong said.

Security agencies plan to ask the government to build detention centres for Rohingya arrivals in Songkhla and Ranong. Officials have yet to settle on the locations but say each batch of arriving migrants will not stay at the centres longer than six months.

Read the original story on the Bangkok Post here.

 

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