'More than 5,000 Rohingya since Oct'
Dithaporn Sasasamit, spokesperson for the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc), said yesterday that up to 5,899 Rohingya migrants had sneaked into Thailand on 48 occasions since last October.The Thai authorities have arrested 1,752 Rohingya migrants, of whom 1,442 were men and 310 women and children, and are undergoing legal procedure as per the 1979 Immigration Act. The men were put under the care of the Immigration Police Bureau in Songkhla and nearby provinces, while the women and children were at the Human Security and Social Development Office in Songkhla.
Dithaporn said that at a meeting on January 25, related agencies at the Foreign Ministry had resolved to gather all Rohingya migrants and provide them with shelter and welfare as per humanitarian principles. It was also decided that the agencies could get government funding via the National Security Council for a period of no more than six months.
Meanwhile, Thailand will try to resolve the problem by getting the Foreign Ministry to seek cooperation from the country of origin to issue documents confirming the migrants' citizenship for repatriation, while at the same time it will coordinate with other countries to seek resettlement. He confirmed that Thailand had no policy to provide shelter for the Rohingya and urged the Thai public to be the eyes and ears of the authorities and alert police about illegal entry.