Foreign Ministry to tackle problems of Rohingya migrants


BANGKOK, 16 January 2013  The Foreign Ministry has held a discussion with related agencies on the solutions to the problem of Rohingya migrants in the country. 

Permanent Secretary for Foreign Sihasak Phuangketkeow revealed on Tuesday that the National Security Council (NSC) has already called for a meeting with the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC), the Social Development and Human Security Ministry, the Immigration Bureau and the Foreign Ministry to discuss the issues of illegal Rohingya immigrants.

The meeting was held after officials have recently found a secret camp in the South of Thailand, where 857 Rohingya Muslims have been hidden by smugglers.

While the government is providing shelters, food and medical services to these migrants, the authorities are to conduct a verification process to determine if anyone has been involved in any human-trafficking operation.

In any case, all detained Rohingya Muslims have been charged with unlawful entry, according to Mr. Sihasak.

The Permanent Secretary for Foreign` went on to say that a number of international organizations have expressed worries and readiness to lend help to the Muslim immigrants.

However, he said that the government’s working committee in charge of the issue is still to discuss ways to work with all organizations, in order to make sure that any assistance extended will be transparent and in accordance with the code of conduct on international humanitarian and the principle of Thailand’s sovereignty.

Mr. Sihasak added that, with help from the Myanmar government, any migrants proven to be Myanmar nationals will be automatically deported.