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Thailand to cooperate with UNHCR to help 857 Rohingya people
Wednesday | 16/01/2013 - 07:22 AM
Thailand to cooperate with UNHCR to help 857 Rohingya people

The Nation
January 15, 2013

Thailand will be working closely with international organisations, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in efforts to extend help to 857 Rohingya people found illegally entering Thailand earlier this month.

"We will proceed in line with laws and humanitarian principle," Foreign Affairs Ministry's permanent secretary Sihasak Phuangketkeow said Tuesday.

He said UNHCR, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef), had expressed concerns and the wish to help the Rohingya people.

"So, we will have close discussions on what to do next. Otherwise, when the legal process in Thailand is completed, we will have to consider deporting them," Sihasak said at a press conference.
Speaking from a state-sponsored shelter in Narathiwat, a 10-year-old Rohingya boy said he would be dead if he was deported back to Myanmar's Yakhine State

Rohingya people are a Muslim minority group in Thailand's neighbouring country.

"My parents and all my four older siblings were killed," Nurahazim said. His body was scarred with many knife wounds and beating wound.

"A rich man there helped us (survivors of violence) by giving us a boat. So, we went into the sea and hoped we could reach a Muslim country," the boy said via an interpreter.

According to Nurahazim, his boat went ashore in Thailand and a man identifying himself as a soldier promised to help transferring them to Malaysia if receiving Bt150,000 per head. In the end, they were put in the hands of human traffickers.

"I feel hurt," Nurahazim said.




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