Government stresses Thailand’s standpoint in irregular migration issue

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BANGKOK, 17 May 2015 – The Thai government will comply with humanitarian principle and national security regarding the issue of irregular migration of Rohingya refugees, while a multinational meeting scheduled for next week will seek to solve this issue, says a spokesman.

Prime Minister’s Office Deputy Spokesman Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd has said that Thailand is willing to cooperate with other nations to solve the issue of the irregular migration of the Rohingya refugees. A portion of the refugees are believed to be victims of human trafficking.

He said that all nations must cooperate to solve this issue, which Thailand will be providing humanitarian aid that does not conflict with Thai laws and internal security directives, while upholding the national agenda of taking care of the Thai nationals.

The spokesman said that these refugees are considered illegal immigrants who violated Thai laws and must be prosecuted and face deportation to the country of origin or the third country based on the person’s preference. The Thai government will not permit residency to the refugees.

Regarding a suggestion proposed by a third party organization that Thailand should provide shelter and employment for the refugees, the deputy spokesman stated that the idea is not a proper solution and might might violate Thai laws and compromise internal security.

He has said that the proper solution for this problem is for international organization to help regulate refugees from their country of origin.

Thailand is set to host a special meeting on Irregular Migration in the Indian Ocean on 29 May 2015 in Bangkok with participants from the 15 affected nations such as Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. International observers such as the United States and other international organizations will also participate in exchanging useful information at the meeting as well.