BANGKOK, 29 January 2013 The Thai government is adamant to repatriate thousands of Rohingya migrants to Myanmar within 6 months.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Paisit Sangkahapong, Director of the Anti-Human Trafficking Center of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) revealed that, late last week, Defense Minister – Air Chief Marshal Sukumpol Suwanatat and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul held a meeting with national security agencies and state offices with responsibilities related to the illegal entry of more than 800 Muslim Rohingyas.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Paisit stated that the meeting saw all parties agree with the result of the probe, which affirmed no human-trafficking ring could have been involved in the arrival of the illegal migrants from Myanmar.
He added that the Rohingyas, who remain under detention in Thailand’s south, do not seem to be heading or sent to any specific destination. Therefore, they are only going to be charged for illegal entry.
The DSI’s Anti-Human Trafficking Center Director said that all of them will need to be pushed back within 6 months.
In addition, he said that Thai authorities have been providing basic assistance, in accordance with the humanitarian principles, while coordinating with the Myanmar government to bring all of these migrants back.
Moreover, Thailand has also been in touch with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to help find a third country for the Rohingyas.