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130K Myanmar Refugees in Thailand to Go Home, Rohingya Issue Discussed

Friday, July 11

Rohingya Refugees in Thai Detention. They frequently fall victims in the hands of the human traffickers. (Photo: HRW)

PHUKET: Thailand and Burma have agreed to ”facilitate the safe return” of 130,000 displaced persons to their homeland, General Prayuth Chan-ocha said tonight.

He also said the issue of the Rohingya boatpeople had been discussed with Myanmar’s Commander in Chief of Defence Forces, General Min Aung Hlaing, in Bangkok this week.

”The gist of the meeting is that Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) will cooperate in helping displaced persons from fighting in Myanmar,” the general said in his weekly national telecast.

He took charge of Thailand in a coup on May 22.

Details are likely to emerge in the next day or two about precisely what the two countries plan for the large number of refugees from Burma now living in Thailand.

”These people have been staying in temporary shelters with certain restrictions for a long time,” the general said.

”This has been a protracted problem. There are up to 130,000 displaced persons in nine temporary shelters in our country.

The use by General Prayuth of the word ”Rohingya” may prove controversial inside Burma where the Muslim minority does not have citizenship and are referred to as ”Bengalis.”

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