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Mon Refugee Statement (Thai/Burma b

Subject: Mon Refugee Statement (Thai/Burma border)

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The Mon National Relief Committee
PO Box 1, Sangkhlaburi, Kanchanaburi 71240
or GPO Box 1983, Bangkok 10501, Thailand (tel 66 34) 595 080


The protracted civil war in Burma over 40 years increased the numbers of
displaced persons and refugees along the Thai-Burma border.  In this armed
conflict between the military government and the opposition ethnic
nationalities, the Burmese troops always assume the ethnic peoples to be
supporters of their opposition.  They commit human rights violations such as
shooting and torturing people, forced portering and conscripting of
villagers, burning down of villages and raping the women.

In 1990, after the Burmese troops overran the Mon headquarters in Three
Pagodas Pass, over 12,000 displaced persons fled into Thailand and took
refuges.  To take responsibility for these refugees, the MNRC set up Mon
refugee camps inside Thailand.  In 1992, the situation of Mon refugees was
unstable as Thai authorities ordered that all Mon refugee camps be relocated
in one site of Loh Loe Camp.  Although Loh Loe camp was very convenient for
Mon refugees, it lasted only one year and was ordered to move to Burma side

At the beginning of this year Thai authorities ordered Mon refugees to move
from Loh Loe Camp to the new sites of Halockhani Camp on Burma side.  The
MNRC objected because there is no security on the Burma side and it is only
a one hour's walk to the nearest Burma army outpost.  The Thai authorities
responded that it would take responsibility for the safety of these people
and cross-border assistance would be allowed as before.  In the end, even
though the MNRC still worried about the safety of the refugees, most of the
refugees from Loh Loe Camp were unable to avoid moving to the new site.

As we feared, terrible incidents occurred in Halockhani Camp, staring this
past June.  On 20 June, two Burmese soldiers with machine guns from Infantry
Battalion No. 62 came into the camp and made troubles with refugees.  The
second terrible incident was committed by Burmese troops on 21 July.  Burmese
troops made an incursion into our Halockhani refugee camp and burned down one
section of it which contained 120 households and over 500 refugees became
homeless.  Over 50 Mon refugees were also arrested by the Burmese troops.  As
a result of this intentional attack, all Mon refugees in Halockhani Camp fled
into Sangkhlaburi District of Thailand to seek refuge.

Now, the local Thai authorities have ordered the refugees to move back to the
Burma side.  We worry that such terrible incidents will occur for the Mon
refugees if they are on Burma side again.  The situation in Burma as a whole
has not improved enough to make any repatriation possible.

Therefore, we honestly ask the Royal Thai Government to reconsider and allow
the Mon refugees to take temporary refuge on Thai side.

Mon National Relief Committee
28 July 1994


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