Phuket Rohingya repatriated to Myanmar

Phuket Rohingya repatriated to Myanmar

The Rohingya rescued from an open boat adrift off Phuket, including women and children who were fleeing violent persecution in their home state of Arakan, are to be repatriated to Myanmar. Photo: Kritsada Mueanhawong

PHUKET: In a stunning development this morning, Phuket Governor Maitri Inthusut announced that the 71 Rohingya rescued from an open boat adrift off Phuket yesterday are en route to be repatriated to Myanmar.

The move to repatriate the refugees, including women and children, came at the request of the refugees themselves, Gov Maitri said.

Speaking at the monthly “Governor Meets the Press” meeting, Governor Maitri explained that Phuket Immigration had arranged to transport the 71 Rohingya – which included women and children fleeing violent persecution in their home state of Arakan in Myanmar – to Ranong, about 300km north of Phuket.

There, they will cross the border to re-enter Myanmar.

However, Governor Maitri also explained that the Thai government considers the Rohingya people as a people in need.

“They are like patients who need treatment. They said they were on their way to Malaysia, but ran out of fuel. They asked us for food and fuel. We gave them 200 liters of fuel for the long journey to Malaysia.

“However, they had already spent almost two weeks at sea – they departed their shores on December 19. They were exhausted; so instead of risking heading back out to sea to continue their journey, they decided to go back home,” Gov Maitri said.

Phuket Immigration was contacted and asked to organize food and transport for the refugees.

“They are all being returned to the Ranong border by car. The cars left Phuket this morning,” Governor Maitri added.

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One Response to “Phuket Rohingya repatriated to Myanmar”

  1. drkokogyi Says:

    Myanmar Muslims Voice’s status.
    Thai Govt Urged to Reveal Whereabouts of 73 Rohingya Migrants

    Human Rights Watch has urged Thailand not to deport 73 Rohingya Muslims back to Burma, where they have been the target of recent sectarian violence, and to reveal where the migrants were taken after being intercepted by Thai authorities earlier this week.

    The Rohingya Muslims, intercepted by Thai authorities at sea while traveling by boat to Malaysia on Tuesday, were reportedly being driven to the Thai-Burma border on Wednesday evening. But as of Thursday afternoon, Sunai Phasuk, a Bangkok-based spokesman for Human Rights Watch, said it was unclear where the group had been taken.

    “We’re trying to determine their whereabouts,” he told The Irrawaddy on Thursday at about 2:30 pm, saying the migrants arrived Wednesday night in Thailand’s Ranong province, near the Burma border, and were initially brought to an immigration center there.

    “But after that they were transferred into military custody, and it became unclear from that point onward what happened to the group,” he said. “We’re not quite sure where they are or what’s going to happen to them, and we’re concerned about whether Thailand is going to continue with its plan to deport them.”

    Sunai said a local media report on Thursday afternoon claimed that a military unit in Ranong put the Rohingya migrants on a boat and took them back out to sea, where they were reportedly transferred onto another boat of other Rohingya asylum seekers also heading to Malaysia.

    Source: Irrawaddy

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