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Thai government defends refugee repatriation

The juntas Friday defended its decision to repatriate Myanmar refugees but says there are no set timetables as of yet.

"The safety and dignity (of refugees) is vital," the government said in a press release.

"Further discussions are needed with all relevant partners including the UNHCR."

NGOs in the region had originally voiced concern over safety and logistics in repatriating nearly 130,000 refugees to Myanmar.

The refugees have been sheltering in Thailand for nearly three decades after escaping from bloody sectarian conflicts and civil war.

The issue of repatriation surfaced when the head of Thailand’s ruling junta said in a televised address that talks had been held between the two governments over the issue.

DPA


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