Islamic community seeks government leniency for Rohingya migrants

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SONGKHLA, Jan 18 – Muslim groups in Thailand have called on the government to temporarily suspend the deportation of Rohingya migrants who illegally entered the kingdom in the South last week and are seeking international cooperation in resettling the ethnic people in a third country.

At the central mosque in Songkhla province, representatives of the Central Islamic Committee of Thailand, the Sheikhul Islam Office and Islamic committees in five southern provinces said they were willing to provide temporary shelter to the Rohingya migrants without criminal charges until suitable settlements were arranged for them.

They offered the central mosque in Songkhla as the Rohingya migrants’ temporary home and asked for people’s donations and food.

Tawee Sodsong, secretary general of the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre, and Songkhla Governor Krisda Bunrat visited Rohingya children and women at the Home for Children and Families in Songkhla yesterday. Thai health officials were also available to give them health checks.

Pol Col Tawee said they were not the first groups of Rohinya migrants who illegally entered Thailand, and the Foreign Ministry and National Security Council would have to find long-term solutions and assistance to the Muslim ethnic people fleeing from Myanmar.

In neighbouring Narathiwat province, Muslim and Buddhist Thais brought a truckload of necessities to the Home for Children and Families to be donated to 18 Rohinya migrants residing there while about 20 youths will arrive at the home in the next few days.