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Similans Tourists See Boat People Mistreated


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Dozens of Rohingya refugees were beaten and detained for hours by the Thai Navy on an Andaman Sea tourist island, in scenes that unfolded in full view of foreign holidaymakers.

Photographs of the December 23 incident in the Similan Islands were captured by Hong Kong-based tourist Andrew Jones.

Mr Jones, whose name has been changed for the purposes of this article, described how guards armed with M-16 rifles forced the refugees to lie face down in the sand for at least two hours, then ''whipped'' them about the head with a strap if they tried to sit up or move. The refugees were naked to the waist and bound at their wrists.

Some tourists appeared oblivious to the scenes just metres away, continuing to snorkel and sunbathe. Others who were shocked by the treatment of the men and tried to photograph the incident had their cameras snatched away by angry guards, who deleted the images.

Full story and tourist photos of the incident at Phuketwan, and also appearing in the South China Morning Post this morning.

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Bikini and brute force Thailand's Similan islands, one of the world's top dive sites, is now also a destination where tourists may see boat people roughly handled by armed military on the beach.

Read a first-hand account and see the photos taken by a tourist who shared Donald Duck Bay beach with armed Navy personnel and bound and prone boatpeople

This is on the same Andaman coast that the New York Times this week labeled 'the luxury destination of the year' because of the quality of its five-star resorts. The boatpeople are then handed over to the Army, taken to a secret island, and recklessly returned to international waters, with only paddles for power.

It's here with photos: http://phuketwan.com/tourism/similans-tour...ple-mistreated/

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It made the front page of the SCMP (HongKong major newspaper) today :

"Dozens of refugees were detained for hours and some were beaten by the Thai navy on an Andaman Sea tourist island."

"My shock at rough treatment of refugees on Thai holiday beach ... Thailand's secret refugees: hidden on an island, then dumped at sea ..."

Unfortunately the online edition is only accessible to subscribers. A reader sent pictures he took yesterday on Thai beach, showing Thai army abusing refugees.

Does anybody have more information about this subject?

For background : http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=14213

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It made the front page of the SCMP (HongKong major newspaper) today :

"Dozens of refugees were detained for hours and some were beaten by the Thai navy on an Andaman Sea tourist island."

"My shock at rough treatment of refugees on Thai holiday beach ... Thailand's secret refugees: hidden on an island, then dumped at sea ..."

Unfortunately the online edition is only accessible to subscribers. A reader sent pictures he took yesterday on Thai beach, showing Thai army abusing refugees.

Does anybody have more information about this subject?

For background : http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=14213

Anything goes here eh!

Take a look at some of the shit about the Laos Army/Air Force using the Hmong as living targets, bombing them straffing them, ambushing them, killing whole tribes...it's another world!

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Nothing new here, during the cambodian kymer rouge reign the thai army sent 1000s of khymer refugees back down the hill at preah vihear, those that didnt die from land mines were shot attemting to climb back up,. :o

A pretty civilised culture no doubt.

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Agree, but what I'm talking about happened yesterday, literally yesterday, January 14, 2009 !

The Thai army tried to destroy all evidences but a tourist from Hong Kong managed to send very damaging pictures to a Hong Kong major newspaper and it was on front page today ! I have the paper in the office, I’ll scan it and I’ll post it tomorrow.

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This is not the sort of press tourists need to see, although beside the point. I would have thought such "dirty work" would be carried out in away from prying eyes.

Well it's all over the interational press now.

This is as indecent as Taksin's treatment of protesters in the south.

There is no excuse.

It seems the thai army were either oblivious or so arrogant they didn't care. Very sad that a buddhist culture would allow security forces to act in such a way.

Imagine how incensed thais would be if they found out this happened to thai boat people abroad?

The new government have a chance to act on this issue. Would be interesting to see how accountable the army are to the new gov. We know thais are patriotic and often ignorant to other cultures, although I can't imagine most thais seeing this behaviour as decent or acceptable.

As much as wealthy countries like Thailand feel that they don't need illegal immigrants or boat people, perhaps this is a chance for foreign embassies from countries like US and Aus to point out how thai boat people were helped in their time of need, especially in the post Vietnam war era.

Do thais see this arrival as a threat or do they feel they loose face because dirt poor desperate people from neighboring countries dared to seek help. It's not like the boat people can be accussed of being terrorists is it?

A very sad event indeed.

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It made the front page of the SCMP (HongKong major newspaper) today :

"Dozens of refugees were detained for hours and some were beaten by the Thai navy on an Andaman Sea tourist island."

"My shock at rough treatment of refugees on Thai holiday beach ... Thailand's secret refugees: hidden on an island, then dumped at sea ..."

Unfortunately the online edition is only accessible to subscribers. A reader sent pictures he took yesterday on Thai beach, showing Thai army abusing refugees.

Does anybody have more information about this subject?

For background : http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=14213

The South China Morning Post kindly let us republish the Rohingya Similans story in full at Phuketwan. Our two correspondents have lots of info on the Thai Andaman coast situation if you'd like to contact them. From what I can see, we're the only Thai based news organization covering the story at the moment.

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The Phuketwan coverage of this emerging story is excellent. I didn't know there was a decent english language news source there. Definately a story worth following. Perhaps an official somwhere will get moved to an "inactive post". It would be interesting to get some more responses from some thais on this board.

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The Phuketwan coverage of this emerging story is excellent. I didn't know there was a decent english language news source there. Definately a story worth following. Perhaps an official somwhere will get moved to an "inactive post". It would be interesting to get some more responses from some thais on this board.

Here's a link with a site explaining who these boat people are and why they continue to make the dangerous journey to Thailand.Rohingya People Sea Gypsies

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post-13-1232055659_thumb.jpg

Getting lots of BAD publicity in Europe ...from aunty..

Big Nail in the Coffin of Thailands record on Human Rights......

do they want to encourage 'Civilized tourists;....... ??????

or

are they trying to emulate the DIRTY inhumain policies of Burma or North Korea... :o ...or is it simply MP Rai.....

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Thailand accused of abusing asylum seekers

Thai soldiers are being accused of detaining illegal migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar and forcing them back out to sea with no food or water.

BBC reported Thursday that asylum seekers say the soldiers tied their hands and they were towed out to sea and cast adrift.

The British network reported that about 500 migrants are recovering from acute dehydration in India's Andaman Islands and the Indonesian province of Aceh.

"Thai soldiers tied up our hands and then put us in boats without engines. These were towed into the high sea by motorized boats and left to drift," said Zaw Win, a survivor rescued by Indian coast guards off the coast of Little Andamans after drifting for 12 days.

"We were without food and water. The Thai soldiers clearly wanted us to die on the boats," Win was quoted as saying.

Source: UPI - 16 January 2009

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post-13-1232055659_thumb.jpg

Getting lots of BAD publicity in Europe ...from aunty..

Big Nail in the Coffin of Thailands record on Human Rights......

do they want to encourage 'Civilized tourists;....... ??????

or

are they trying to emulate the DIRTY inhumain policies of Burma or North Korea... :o ...or is it simply MP Rai.....

Honestly, what is worse? The attitude of the Thai army or the quasi absence of reaction of the tourists sunbathing a few meters away ?

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post-13-1232055659_thumb.jpg

Getting lots of BAD publicity in Europe ...from aunty..

Big Nail in the Coffin of Thailands record on Human Rights......

do they want to encourage 'Civilized tourists;....... ??????

or

are they trying to emulate the DIRTY inhumain policies of Burma or North Korea... :o ...or is it simply MP Rai.....

Honestly, what is worse? The attitude of the Thai army or the quasi absence of reaction of the tourists sunbathing a few meters away ?

No doubt the attitude of the Thai Army.

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This rather amazing article appears on the BBC web site and describes how the Thai army treats refugee boat people that arrive on its shores unasked and without visa's. The solution it seems is to handcuff them, put them back in their boats, tow them out to sea and leave them!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7830710.stm

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I read that article with mounting dismay.

After this last year of political unrest, foreign currency falling against the baht, a growing realization that people were right when they told me that most relationships, both short and long term, were only as good as the financing underpinning them...now this.

This is murder. Pure and simple. :o

Granted that dealing with economic refugees is a difficult issue for all countries, this response by Thailand's armed forces is simply unacceptable.

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