Karen News Thai Authorities, MPs and Thailand-Myanmar Border-Based Civil Organizations Discuss War Refugees Crisis

The meeting focusing on the challenges regarding the displaced population and border trade on the Thailand-Myanmar border, was held on May 12 with invitations extended by the Chairman of the Border Affairs Department of the Thai Security Commission to civil organizations, including the Overseas Irrawaddy Association (OIA).

The meeting discussed issues including refugees sheltering on the Thailand-Myanmar border, Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand’s Tak Province, border trade, and illegal on-line casinos. Pho Thingyan, an OIA representative, stated that his organization presented and discussed three issues, including assistance for Myanmar war refugees.

“Currently delivering food to refugees along the Thaungyin (Moei) River is quite difficult, so we have asked Thai authorities to help ease the restrictions. We also talked about Human Rights Defenders arriving in Thailand, the need to clearly demarcate the border, and how Thailand should work with other countries to stand against the Myanmar Junta”, he told KIC.

During the discussion about HRD, OIA requested the Thai government to carefully verify and issue temporary residential statuses (TR-38s), as was done in 2005, to facilitate effective management and utilization of human resources arriving in Thailand.

“The majority of attendees at the meeting shared our views. We also noted discussions about children’s education and health concerns. While we are not policymakers, our role is to highlight important issues to the Thai government for further consideration and discussion”, Pho Thingyan added.

Manop Keereepuwadol, a Karen ethnic member of the Thai House of Representatives who attended the meeting, emphasized the importance of Karen people coming together to assist one another, while Thailand seeks solutions to aid the war-refugees at the border.

“We want to tell our Karen brothers and sisters in Kawthoolei District that we will support each other in the aid process. Together, we will find ways to live healthy and happy lives. Myanmar is currently facing many difficulties, and I urge Karen people to help each other wherever they are”, he said.

At the meeting, members of the Thai House of Representatives and some Karen civil society groups joined the discussions online.
In March, the Thai government, with the help of the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) and various civil society organizations, sent cross-border food aid to 20,000 Myanmar war refugees. Recently Thai authorities also opened temporary refugee camps on the border to accept and support those fleeing clashes in Myawaddy.

The post Thai Authorities, MPs and Thailand-Myanmar Border-Based Civil Organizations Discuss War Refugees Crisis appeared first on Karen News.