Archive for the ‘Abhisit Vejjajiva’ Category

CNN Gets To The Truth: Thailand Admits Abuse of Refugees

February 14, 2009

CNN has doggedly chased this humanitarian issue: Thailand violating refugees who land from the sea.  Now Thailamd’s Prime Minister has admited to the abuse….

From My SinChew

After being in a state of denial for weeks, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has finally admitted to international media that Thai authorities pushed Rohingya boat people back out to sea and abandoned them.

In an exclusive interview with CNN on Thursday (12 Feb), Abhisit said there was reason to believe some incidents had occurred.

“It’s not exactly clear whose handiwork it is,” he said. “All the authorities say it’s not their policy, though I have reason to believe some instances did happen, but if I can find evidence as to who exactly did this, I will certainly bring them to account.”

Panitan Wattanayagorn, deputy secretary to the prime minister, earlier said the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) had been assigned to integrate all security regarding migrants along the West Coast.

Colonel Manat Kongpan, commander of Isoc’s Fourth Region, Friday (13 Feb) told reporters the military had not committed any such inhumane acts towards the boat people.

“Thais should not pay attention to such crazy news reports. If anyone had died, there’d be bodies,” he said. “The media are simply quoting those wanting to attack Thailand.”

The Navy arrested nearly 1,000 Rohingya boat people in Dec and Jan. They were shifted to the strategic military island of Koh Sai Daeng before being towed back out to sea and abandoned.

Abhisit said that “at times” there had been “a lot of pressure in terms of the numbers of these people coming in”.

The government believes the boat people to be normal economic migrants and is trying to persuade other countries to help tackle the problem.

Read the rest:
http://www.mysinchew.com/node/21240

Related:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asia
pcf/02/12/thailand.refugees.admission/in
dex.html

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Thai Lawmakers Probe Abuse, Death of Hundreds of Muslim Refugees

January 23, 2009

Thailand has almost always had a troubling record on refugees.  Since the war in Vietnam ended in 1975, people have moved into Thailand by land and sea fleeing death, torture and prisons.  But in Thailand, regugees have often found death, torture, rape, miserable conditions not unlike the prisons the refugees hoped to avoid.

Last July, this from Human Rights Watch:

“Forcing civilians back into an active war zone may be an easy answer for Thailand, but it’s brutal – a completely inhumane and unacceptable solution,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The Thai government should cooperate with international relief agencies and UNHCR to ensure that it upholds the rights of civilians under international law.”

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Thai lawmakers were probing Thursday “very alarming” reports about its troops abusing and casting out members of a Muslim minority group fleeing to its shores.

Hundreds of Muslim refugees from Burma (Myanmar) are feared missing or dead after Thai troops forced them onto boats without engines and cut them adrift in international waters, according to human rights activists and authorities in India who rescued survivors. The revelations have shone a spotlight on the Thai military’s expulsion policy toward Muslims it sees as a security threat.

Nearly 1,000 refugees were detained on a remote island in December before being towed out to sea in two batches and abandoned with little food or water, according to a tally by a migrant-rights group based on survivors’ accounts and media reports. The detainees, mostly members of Burma’s oppressed Rohingya minority, then drifted for weeks. One group was later rescued by Indonesia’s Navy, and two others made landfall in India’s Andaman Islands.

Related:
Christian Science Monitor:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20
090123/ts_csm/oboats_1

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WO
RLD/asiapcf/01/22/thailand.refugees/index.html

Related:
Consequences of Speedy Withdrawal From Iraq?
(What happend when refugee migrations start…)

A group of refugees guarded by the Thai army sit on a beach ... 
A group of refugees guarded by the Thai army sit on a beach on the Thai island of Koh Sai Baed in this picture taken late 2008 and released to Reuters January 19, 2009. Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Sunday that he would meet human rights groups to discuss alleged violations, as further reports emerged of ill-treatment of refugees from Myanmar by Thai security forces. The refugees, the Rohingyas, are Muslims from Myanmar. Many have fled the Buddhist-dominated, army-ruled country to escape repression and economic hardship, but rights groups say hundreds were recently detained on a remote Thai island before being forced back to sea by the security forces with little food or water. REUTERS/South China Morning Post/Pool

New Thai premier urges Thaksin to return

December 18, 2008

Thailand’s new prime minister called Thursday for fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra to return home to face justice and bring closure to months of political turmoil that has revolved around him.

Abhisit Vejjajiva made the comments a day after being sworn in as Thailand‘s third prime minister in four months.

By AMBIKA AHUJA, Associated Press Writer

Leader of Democrat Party and new Thailand's Prime Minsiter Abhisit ... 
Leader of Democrat Party and new Thailand’s Prime Minsiter Abhisit Vejjajiva addresses media after receiving King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s command at party’s headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008. Abhisit, the 44-year-old, Oxford-educated was voted by Parliament on Monday, promised Wednesday to put together a competent Cabinet to revive the country’s economy battered by months of violent anti-government protests.(AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong, Pool)

Abhisit, a 44-year-old graduate of Oxford, is the first opponent of Thaksin to lead a civilian government in the past seven years. Thaksin, who took power in 2001, was ousted by a coup in 2006 but has nevertheless loomed over Thai politics since then.

A Thai court in October convicted Thaksin in absentia of violating a conflict of interest law while in office and sentenced him to two years in prison. There are several pending corruption cases against Thaksin, a former telecommunications tycoon.

“I want to see him back,” Abhisit told Channel 7 news. “If he comes back and fights in court and shows that all Thai people are equal, there will be a closure.”

“Thai society is merciful and forgiving, but first he has to show acceptance in the judicial process,” said Abhisit, who was scrambling to assemble a Cabinet capable of tackling the country’s economic and social problems.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081218/ap_
on_re_as/as_thailand_politics
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Thai opposition readies to form new government

December 7, 2008

Thailand‘s main opposition party called Sunday for an emergency parliament session to prove its majority in a bid to form the next government and end months of political chaos, as loyalists of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra struggled to stay in power.

A new administration should bring some semblance of stability to this Southeast Asian nation, which has been gripped by political uncertainty since August when protesters — driven by a single-minded hatred for Thaksin and his allies — seized the prime minister’s office and later overran the capital’s two airports in a bid to topple government.

By VIJAY JOSHI, Associated Press Writer

Leader of Thailand opposition's Democrat Party Abhisit Vejjajiva ... 
Leader of Thailand opposition’s Democrat Party Abhisit Vejjajiva is seen on April 26, 2006 in Bangkok, Thailand. The Democrat Party said Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008 it has enough support to form a new government following a six-month political crisis that has paralyzed the country.(AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong)

The opposition Democrat Party said it will ask the speaker of Parliament on Monday to call an extraordinary session of the lower house so that it can prove it has a majority. Both Thaksin’s allies and the opposition say they have enough support to form a government.

“If the Democrat Party forms the government, I will try to boost confidence and revive the tourism industry and the image of the country,” said 44-year-old party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, a former economics lecturer who will become the next prime minister if his party comes to power.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081207/ap_on_re_
as/as_thailand_political_unrest

The court ruling forcing Thailand's premier from office ... 
The court ruling forcing Thailand’s premier from office ended crippling protests, but analysts say the kingdom’s political problems run deep and will flare up again. (AFPTV)