No free and unfettered access to forcibly deported Hmong

27 03 2010

Thailand’s Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, whose chief mission is apparently playing hide and seek with Thaksin Shinawatra, got some diplomatic criticism on Thailand’s forced repatriation of Hmong to Laos (Bangkok Post, 26 March 2010).

Diplomats, said to include “the envoys of the EU, Switzerland, UK, the Netherlands, and Canada” told Kasit that they had “concerns about the fate of the 4,500 ethnic Hmong deported from Thailand to Laos last December.” They “called for free and unfettered access to the Hmong returnees.” EU ambassador David Lipman complained that “It is now March and we have not been granted free and unfettered access, especially to the 158 Lao Hmong from Nong Khai…. The Netherlands, the US, Canada and Australia have offered them resettlement…”.

Kasit who defended the repatriation back in December and claimed then that there were essentially no human rights issues or problems, said “he had spoken to Lao authorities about access, but would raise the matter again at the MRC meeting.” He scrambled about a bit and after the meeting with the diplomats, announced he’s “ask Vientiane to give ‘free and unfettered’ access to Lao Hmong repatriated from Thailand.”

A Lao government-sponsored and managed visit to some of the resettled Hmong “indicated that they wanted to leave Laos.”

These expressed concerns are unlikely to go very far with the Lao government. As for Kasit, he’s likely to get back to what he considers his most significant charge of guessing where Thaksin is and having his ministry and advisers release all kinds of contradictory information on that.





One response

22 10 2010
Kasit on political prisoners and repatriation to Burma « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] politics. If readers recall the horrendous treatment of Rohinga boat people, the involuntary and forcible repatriation of Hmong to Laos, labeled by the government as somehow voluntary and opposed by several countries, and the […]

%d bloggers like this: