[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index ][Thread Index ]

Bangkok post and The National (26/5

News heahlines

1:) Burma NLD members held
2:) Details of UNHCR role on Burma border worked out
3:) Refugees, be warned

Burma NLD members held

Rangoon- Burma has detained at least 16 members of the opposition National
League for Democracy (NLD) in an attempt to halt a gathering planned to
commemorate the party's victory in the 1900 polls, opposition sources said
	"At least 10 NLD representatives in the Ayayawaddy division and two in the
Magway division were picked up on May 22 and four others in the Bagu
division on May 21," an NLD source said.
	" We think they were picked up only to prevent them from coming to Rangoon
to attend the ceremony and hope they will be released soon," the source added.
	The NLD had planned to hold the gathering at the lakeside Rangoon
residence of its leader and Novel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi from Wednesday
to Friday.
	On Sunday, the ruling Burma military-dominated State Peace and Development
Council (SPDC) warned the NLD to refrain from holding the gathering.
	A senior NLD leader, who declined to be identified, said the party had
called off plans to hold the gathering on Wednesday. 

Details of UNHCR role on Burma border worked out

Agency says it awaits an official request

Thai and United Nations authorities have worked out details of a role on
the Burmese border for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the agency's
regional representative said yesterday.
	" We have finalized details as far as we can go," said Amelia Bonifacio,
the Bangkok-based representative of the agency, which previously was
allowed limited access to the Burmese border. "What we are waiting for is
an official request."
	Thai authorities have been mulling an expanded role for the UNHCR towards
displaced Burmese people since the burning and shelling of two camps on the
border in March.
	Denis McNamara, head of the UNHCR's International Protection Division, is
due to make a familiarization tour of Huat Kalok and Mae Hla in Mae Sot
district, Tak, today. An estimated 70,000 displaced Burmese are living in
several camps along the border.
	Ms. Bonifacio, who spoke after a seminar by the UNHCR and Chulalongkorn
University's law faculty, confirmed the UNHCR's role on the Burmese border
would differ from the one it enjoyed on the Cambodian border through the
1980s and early 1990s.
	One difference, she said, would concern admission of asylum seekers. In
addition, the UNHCR would have access to asylum seekers and refugees in the
camps, and conduct joined registration of the inhabitants with the government.
	The UNHCR also would support and help the government in the relocation of
camps beyond shelling range. She noted that Thai authorities had identified
two sites for the relocation.
	A long-term strategy for the eventual repatriation of displaced Burmese
was also under consideration, she said.
	Mr. McNamara said the UNHCR would not replace the non-governmental
organizations that have been active on the Burmese border for some time.

Refugees, be warned

The nation's editorial, "Harassment of Burmese exiles must stooped" (May
23) is commendable. Obviously, the Thai government policy has failed the
refugees. One day it is a Foreign Ministry issue, the next day it is a
national security concern. Chuan Company had hit the road to gloat about
their kindness t the refugees but when they arrived home they handed the
problem over those who care less for the concern and welfare of these
	The other variable is the special interests (private business) who help in
making sure that the exiles have the worst time possible, and then there
are those who profess t work for the national security of Thailand. These
culprits are only interested in their own self-interests.
	I have worked with the Burmese and seen the problems face by the refugees
on a daily basis. Thailand should do more to protect them. 

---------------- END ----------------