Daily Management Review

Thailand Sends a Landing Craft to Help Illegal Migrants


Naval Forces of the country will bring refugees to Malaysia and Indonesia who agreed to organize a provisional asylum in their territory.

Thailand will send the landing ship ANG Thong to the Andaman Sea for assistance to the illegal migrants drifting on the overloaded wooden vessels.

The prime minister of the kingdom Prayut Chan-Ocha reported about it.

- When found, the migrants will be brought to the big ship for receiving the necessary help, - told the general Chang-Ocha. According to him, Thai Naval Forces will bring refugees to Malaysia and Indonesia who agreed to organize provisional asylum in the territory. The prime minister also emphasized that wounded or sick migrants "can be taken to hospitals of Thailand". However, in this case, "charges of illegal penetration into the country will be brought to them".   

Except the ship ANG Thong capable to contain to 390 servicemen, Thailand also intends to use aircraft in search and rescue operation, the prime minister added.

Prayut Chang-Ocha welcomed intention of the USA to carry out patrol of Bay of Bengal from air, having joined the international humanitarian operation on search of the migrants drifting in the sea from Myanmar and Bangladesh.

- They have to do it under the direction of our command structure as operation takes place in our territory, - Chan-Ocha noted. Earlier the Bangkok Post edition reported that Thailand did not allow the USA to use the territory as temporary base for the American aircraft planning to take part in operation on search of illegal migrants.

Humanitarian crisis in Southeast Asia burst after mass burials of the illegal migrants transported from Myanmar and Bangladesh through the territory of the kingdom to Malaysia and Indonesia were found on May 1 in Thailand. During police special operations in the southern provinces on border with Malaysia, 20 camps were left by refugees and smugglers were revealed. Thousands of migrants compelled to leave the land were drifting by boats in the high sea. Now, by different estimates, to 2 thousand displaced persons remain in the high sea.   

On May 24, the Minister of Internal Affairs of the country Ahmad Zakhid Hamidi confirmed existence of mass burials of illegal migrants, and also detection not less than 17 camps where natives of Bangladesh and Myanmar are kept.

According to him, these camp could be in the west of Malaysia on border with Thailand at least 5 years. When security forces arrived to that area, nobody was there, the minister reported. Now criminalists started studying of graves, each of which, as the Interior Minister told, may contain three to five corpses.  However, he could not call the total number of the found burials.

The head of department also emphasized that he admits an involvement of Malaysia into human trafficking, though specified that the authority of the country has nothing in common with what happened. Earlier official representatives long time disproved possibility of existing of camps of slave traders in the Malaysian territory.

Representatives of a native Myanmar nationality, escaping from prosecutions in the homeland, try to find a shelter in Malaysia. Until recently, the majority of them used an overland way of migration - through Thailand where they often fell into hands of the criminals demanding repayment for release.
After Thai authorities blocked this channel, thousands of refugees directed to neighboring countries by sea that led to the most terrifying humanitarian disaster as neither Indonesia, nor Malaysia, Thailand harbored ships with illegal migrants. As a resul, not less than 7 thousand people were in the high sea practically without water and the food for about two weeks. The decision on temporary granting shelters for refugees was made only after intervention of the UN.

source: cnn.com