Sufficiency economy and refugee repatriation

30 03 2017

We missed this gem of a story a few days ago and thought it still worth a comment.

The military regime is seeking to send almost 70,000 refugees displaced by fighting in Myanmar back home. “Voluntarily” is the term used, which is a change from past efforts.

Third Army chief Lt Gen Vijak Siribansop said the Myanmar government “has prepared areas for them and current peace talks with armed ethnic groups in Myanmar look promising…”. Perhaps not if you are reading the Myanmar press, but that’s his claim.

Lt Gen Vijak said the “United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees will coordinate and fund the refugees’ return, while the Thai government will act as a facilitator…”. If true, that’s better than previous efforts too.

But then this:

“We will also teach the refugees about King Rama IX’s sufficiency economy,” Lt Gen Vijak said, hoping these principles would be able to inspire them to pursue productive lives in Myanmar.

Like all displaced persons, it’s pretty sure that they will struggle when they return. Sufficiency economy is a way of making them feel grateful for their future suffering.


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