'No camp for Rohingya'
The people of Ranong will oppose the setting up of a refugee camp for Rohingyas in the southern coastal province, their leader said yesterday.Sucheep Patthong said his group would launch protests if there were reports indicating the government intended to open a Rohingya refugee camp in Ranong.
Sucheep said he had sympathy for the Rohingya people but if they were allowed to live in a refugee camp in Ranong, it would have a negative impact on the local people.
"Ranong is now already suffering enough from some 100,000 immigrant workers living in the province. This has led to social, security and public health problems," Sucheep added.
He said Thailand is also facing a problem because of some 20,000 children born to Myanmar workers in the Kingdom so the Rohingya would add to the problems to the country.
He said Thailand had nothing to do with the Rohingya hence Myanmar, Bangladesh and the United Kingdom should step in to help them.
Meanwhile, a 54-year-old Rohingya, who called himself Aree and who has been living in Ranong for 20 years, said he had to pay a bribe of Bt30,000 to get an identification of a non-Thai displaced person allowed to live legally in the country.
He said he and his wife had been living in Thailand for more than 20 years and had to earlier pay bribes to local officials regularly to avoid being rounded up and deported. They have eight children.
He said he, his wife and his first daughter got the ID card and were allowed to work without having to hide.