Archive for the ‘Thais’ Category

New Year Turns To Fire and Death At China “Party”

February 1, 2009

How many times do we have to learn that fireworks, alcohol and nightclubs don’t mix?

China experienced another unnecessary tragedy of party-fireworks-nightclub when a group celebrating a birthday during China’s New Year shot off fireworks at their table and set fire to a bar in China’s Fujian province, leading to the deaths of 15 people, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The fire was in Changle City, which translates into “lasting happiness.”

This tragedy has been played out in Bangkok where a band named “Burn” ignited destruction and death. Sixty-five people were killed in that fire in the crowded Santika nightclub exposing the dismal safety standards of Bangkok’s shady entertainment scene.

A Rhode Island club fire in 2003 killed 100.

We may never know the complete cause of death in China in this fireworks incident because China controls its media.  But it is a safe bet that fireworks, alcohol and bad safety thinking are to blame.

China fire from CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORL
D/asiapcf/01/31/china.fire/index.html

Related:
Bangkok Club Fire On New Year’s Reveals “Host Of Safety Violations” in “Shady Entertainment World”

Policemen and rescue workers look at the bodies of victims outside Santika nightclub in Bangkok January 1, 2009. A blaze at the top Bangkok nightclub killed at least 58 people celebrating the New Year and injured more than 100 others.
 

Aftermath of the January 1 Club fire in Thailand. Photograph by: Kerek Wongsa/Reuters, Reuters

UN visits boat people detained in Thailand

January 29, 2009

U.N. officials were allowed to meet Thursday with boat people detained by Thailand and interviewed a dozen migrants as young as 14 about their perilous journey and allegations they were abused.

The meeting came after weeks of calls by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and rights groups for Thailand to provide access to the Rohingyas — members of a stateless Muslim ethnic group who fled persecution in Myanmar — and explain allegations that it forced out to sea as many as 1,000 migrants.

By AMBIKA AHUJA, Associated Press Writer

UNHCR officials were granted access to 12 young people, aged 14 to 17, from a group of 78 Rohingyas who were rescued by the Thai navy on Monday night, said Kitty McKinsey, the U.N. agency’s Asia spokeswoman.

“They were in good condition,” she said. “It’s a big step forward that we have gotten access to them. We’re now getting good cooperation from the Thai government to solve this issue.”

McKinsey said she would discuss their findings with Thai authorities before publicizing them, but reaffirmed the agency’s demand that Thailand not forcibly return them to Myanmar. A Thai court convicted the adult migrants detained with the minors of illegal entry on Wednesday, raising concerns they could be deported.

“In principal, the UNHCR is opposed to anyone being forcibly returned to Myanmar,” she said. “I think its human rights record is well known.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090129/a
p_on_re_as/as_thailand_boat_people_8

This photo released on January 20, shows illegal immigrants ... 
This photo released on January 20, shows illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar receiving food, in Similan island south of Thailand. (AFP/HO/File/AFP)

Myanmar, Thailand Force Hungry Refugees to Run, Or Deport Them To Where?

January 29, 2009

Dozens of migrants from Myanmar who washed up in Thailand this week were convicted Wednesday of illegal entry and will be deported, police said, raising fears that they may face persecution back home.

The 78 Muslim Rohingyas — 66 men and 12 teenage boys — were intercepted just after midnight Tuesday and taken into police custody amid accusations that the Thai military have abused other boat people from Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Related:
 Thailand denies abusing migrants; sends some to trial

Colonel Veerasilp Kwanseng, commander of the Paknam police station where the Rohingya were detained, said the 66 adults were fined 1,000 baht (28 dollars) each for illegal entry, but could not pay so were jailed for five days.

AFP

A Thai soldier checks the documents of a Myanmar migrant travelling ... 
A Thai soldier checks the documents of a Myanmar migrant travelling in a boat in Thailand’s southern Ranong province. Dozens of migrants from Myanmar who washed up in Thailand this week were convicted Wednesday of illegal entry and will be deported, police said, raising fears that they may face persecution back home.(AFP/File/Tuwaedaniya Meringing)

“They will stay in prison until the term is finished and then immigration will take them before processing their deportation,” Veerasilp said.

The 12 Rohingya teenage boys who are under the age of 19 will not be jailed, but will be deported with the rest of the group, he added.

Accusations of mistreatment surfaced earlier this month after nearly 650 Rohingya were rescued off India and Indonesia, some claiming to have been beaten by Thai soldiers before being set adrift in the high seas to die.

Hundreds of the boat people are still believed to be missing at sea.

Kitty McKinsey, spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency UNHCR, said the fact that the 78 Rohingya were processed by police rather than the army was positive, but said they continued to press for access to the migrants.

The UNHCR has asked to see another group of 126 Rohingya reportedly detained in Thailand earlier this month, but authorities have denied they exist.

The Rohingya are stateless and face religious and ethnic persecution from Myanmar’s military regime, forcing thousands of them to take to rickety boats each year in a bid to escape poverty and oppression, and head to Malaysia.

The Thai foreign ministry earlier Wednesday “categorically denied” reports that it had mistreated any migrants.

Bangkok Club Fire On New Year’s Reveals “Host Of Safety Violations” in “Shady Entertainment World”

January 27, 2009

The lead singer of a band called Burn has been charged with starting a Bangkok nightclub fire that killed 65 partygoers on new year’s eve by launching fireworks from the stage.

By Thomas Bell in Bangkok
Telegraph (UK)

The tragedy in the crowded Santika nightclub exposed the dismal safety standards of Bangkok’s shady entertainment scene. An official inquiry into the incident found a catalogue of safety failures and that the nightclub was part-owned by a senior police officer who allegedly protected it from official scrutiny.

Shortly after midnight a blaze engulfed the crowded building with around 1000 people trapped inside and only one marked exit. The fire killed 65 people and injured more than 200 others, including 4 Britons.

“Eyewitnesses and evidence points to fireworks as the cause of the fire at Santika pub, because the fireworks hit the club ceiling and the fire broke out 30 seconds after the fireworks were lit,” said General Jongrak Jutanont, deputy national police chief on Tuesday.

He said police had arrested Saravuth Ariya, 28, the lead singer of Burn.

“He was seen carrying fireworks into the pub and lighting them during the countdown,” said Gen Jongrak.

Mr Saravuth is the sixth person to be charged in connection with the fire. The others – all owners and managers of the club – have been charged with causing death by negligence and admitting under age drinkers.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/thailand/435
7374/Lead-singer-accused-of-Bangkok-nightclub-fire-whic
h-killed-65-people.html

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Band, Nightclub In Rhode Island Kills 100 With Pyrotechnics

From the Boston Globe in 2003….
http://www.boston.com/news/packages/nightclu
b_fire/Series_of_errors_sealed_crowd_s_fate+.shtml

More Refugees Land in Thailand Amid Abuse, Human Rights Furor

January 27, 2009

 A new boatload of Rohingya refugees washed up on the shores of Thailand early Tuesday, raising questions about the type of treatment they would receive.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says previous boat loads of Muslim Rohingya refugees from Myanmar have been beated, whiped and pushed back to sea by Thais.

Male refugees show scars they say were caused by beatings at the hands of the Myanmar navy.

Male refugees show scars they say were caused by beatings at the hands of the Myanmar navy.
A recent CNN investigation found evidence that the Thai military towed hundreds of refugees into open waters only to abandon them.

CNN obtained several photos of this activity including one photo that shows the Thai army towing a boatload of some 190 refugees far out to sea. CNN also interviewed a refugee who said he was one of the few that survived after his group of six rickety boats were towed back to sea and abandoned by Thai authorities in January.

Related:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORL
D/asiapcf/01/27/thailand.ref
ugees/index.html

Reviews of United Nations records and media reports show a patters of questionable if not barbaric treatment of refugees in Thailand.  Currently, there are at least two regugee abuse situation inside Thailand and not just one…..

Thailand’s Questionable Talk On Stopping Abuse of Refugees

A group of Rohingya migrants are seen in a boat at sea off of ... 
A group of Rohingya migrants are seen in a boat at sea off of Koh Sai Daeng in southwest Thailand in this undated photo obtained by CNN. Pressure mounted on Thailand on January 26, 2009 to come clean on allegations the army towed Rohingya refugees out to sea and abandoned them in engine-less boats, after CNN showed pictures depicting exactly that.

This picture provided to CNN is said to show refugees being towed out to sea by the Thai army.

This picture provided to CNN is said to show refugees being towed out to sea by the Thai army.

Thailand Brutalizes, Abandons Refugees

January 15, 2009

Thai soldiers are detaining illegal migrants from Bangladesh and Burma and forcing them back out to sea in boats without engines, survivors say.

Survivors say their hands were tied and they were towed out to sea with little or no food or water.

About 500 migrants are now recovering from acute dehydration in India’s Andaman islands and the Indonesian province of Aceh.

BBC

Thai officials were not immediately available for comment.

But sources in the police and army confirmed to the BBC’s Jonathan Head in Bangkok that asylum seekers are being pushed out to sea. They did not provide further details about the practice.

Thousands of poor Burmese and Bangladeshis try to reach south-east Asian nations in search of work.

‘Without food’

Survivors rescued by Indian coast guards say hundreds of other asylum-seekers are still missing after leaving Bangladesh and Burma since the end of November.

They told the BBC that they paid agents to take them to Thailand by boat so that they could have a better life.

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