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The BurmaNet News: May 28, 1998 (r)

Dear Sann Aung,

Can you explain the meaning of this story? Did they send Thein U back to
Could nothe UNHCR protect them?

John Morton

 The Nation: 14 Burmese Deported 
 27 May, 1998 
 Thailand on Sunday deported 14 Burmese dissidents, including a minister of
 a government in exile, to their country but to areas where their safety was
 guaranteed, a senior security official said yesterday.
 The source declined to reveal the whereabouts of the Burmese, including
 Thein Oo, a justice minister in the National Coalition Government of the
 Union of Burma, who had been deported.
 He said the deportation was in line with Thai immigration laws. They were
 arrested last week in Nonthaburi province on charges of illegal entry.
 According to the laws, an illegal alien is to be deported to the country of
 origin," he said.
 Meanwhile Foreign Ministry spokesman Kobsak Chutikul said the arrested
 Burmese group had not applied to be under the care of the UN High
 Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
 "I was informed that as a group the Burmese did not want to be granted
 person-of-concern status with the UNHCR. They chose not to apply for the
 status. There are certain Western countries that offer them asylum," Kobsak
 said. He declined to name the countries.
 Shortly after the arrest, UNHCR officials were allowed to interview the
 group to learn whether they wanted the status or not. It was reported that
 eight of them had sought the status.
 Under the care of the UNHCR they will be allowed to stay in Thailand, but
 their anti-Burmese government activities will be prohibited.
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