BANGKOK, 21 January 2013 Army Commander-in-Chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha has confirmed Thailand is ready to provide humanitarian assistance to illegal Rohingya immigrants although the country, at the same time, needs to take into account its national security.
Gen. Prayuth on Monday said currently there are more than 300,000 illegal immigrants in Thailand, including the Rohingyas, who are in the process of being sent back to their countries of origin or sent to third countries. The army chief affirmed that after being arrested by Thai officials, the asylum seekers had been given proper care and assistance. However, he explained that if the Thai government accepted them, there might be problems afterwards.
The army chief added that whether temporary shelters would be built for the illegal immigrants would be decided by the government.
Regarding the allegation that some Thai officials and army officers had facilitated the Rohingyas’ entering into Thailand, Gen. Prayuth insisted that the army would press a maximum charge against any officer who was proven to have taken part in the case.