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Burmese Boat People Held On 'exile Island'


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Phuketwan Voyage to Secret Red Sand Island

By Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian Saturday, January 10, 2009

THE ISLAND off the Andaman tourist coast where Thailand is secretly keeping unwanted boat people looms out of the sea like a classic tropical isle.

Locals call it Koh Sai Dang (Red Sand island) but the only small stretch of beach looks golden, the color that attracts visitors to popular holiday spots around this region.

Convenience is probably why the Army chose it for their covert operation. It's not that far from the regional HQ.

And the jungle growth that covers Red Sand island, all the way up its central cone shape, seems capable of hiding hundreds of unwanted Rohingya, the Muslim boat people who have been sailing south by the hundreds.

Their arrival has had Thai authorities concerned to the point where the Rohingyas, apprehended on land or in Thai waters, are now being taken out to sea and left to paddle home.

It's little wonder that the Thai Army denies it is holding Rohingya.

Full story: http://phuketwan.com/tourism/phuketwan-voy...ed-sand-island/

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