Kasit on political prisoners and repatriation to Burma

22 10 2010

PPT can’t say Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya is flip-flopping because the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime has politicized flip flops. We can say that an article in The Irrawaddy indicates that he seems to be engaging in an acrobatic movement that is known as a back flip.

In the U.S., Kasit stated for the world to hear that: “The election is a first step back to an open, democratic society, so let’s support them…”. It may not be a completely fair, inclusive election, but it is a first step, he said. Let’s support it. Kasit says he is going to do more about getting the intellectuals and emigres to return to Burma following the election. Is this a suggestion that they will be “trained and deported.”

Now he seems to back away from that… sort of.

With a convoy bristling with soldiers’ weapons, Kasit visited the Mae Sot border area and the  Mae La refugee camp. He stated that “Thai authorities would not send the refugees back by force, but will only send them back if political situation in Burma gets better after the general elections on Nov. 7.” He mentioned “voluntary repatriation.

The problem with this relates to Kasit’s and the government’s ideas of what is “voluntary” and what is “better” 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 government’s odd notions of “normalcy” in politics, and the people likely to be impacted by repatriations have reason to be worried.


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25 10 2010
Alleged abuse of migrants deported from Thailand « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] PPT draws readers’ attention to further information on policies fostered by the Abhisit Vejjajiva government that are detrimental to Burmese migrants and involve their deportation. Readers will remember our earlier posts on Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya and his statements here and here. […]