BANGKOK, 1 June 2012 – Myanmar’s democracy icon has asked Thailand to extend necessary assistance and ensure sound living conditions for millions of Myanmar workers in the country.
On Thursday, Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi held a meeting with Thai Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubumrung, during which both discussed the issues surrounding the problems of Myanmar workers in Thailand.
During the 1-hour discussion, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi has asked DPM Chalerm to ensure that Thai entrepreneurs will offer Myanmar workers a fair treatment, after many have complained of difficult living conditions as their passports have been taken away by employers.
She has stressed with Mr. Chalerm that unless the Thai government provides sound employment conditions, she will urge all workers to return home.
The Thai Deputy PM said that he had assured Myanmar’s opposition leader that the government has resolved several problems she was raising, particularly the nationality verification, which enables workers to earn a high minimum wage of 300 baht and to be covered under the 30-baht universal healthcare system, just like Thai workers.
According to Mr. Chalerm, there are currently around 2 million Myanmar workers in Thailand, and around 800,000 of them have been registered and the rest are being processed under the collaboration of the governments of Thailand and Myanmar.
He also assured Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi that Thailand will treat all Myanmar refugees under the principles of human rights and will offer them refuge until the situation in Myanmar returns to normal.
The Thai DPM said that, since 2005, Thailand has helped around 77,000 refugees relocate to the third countries.
At the end of the meeting, Mr. Chalerm wished Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi a victory in the 2016 elections.