Songkhla locals help displaced Rohingya
Residents of Songkhla have extended a helping hand to the ethnic Rohingyas in the province.
As of Thursday, a total of 897 Rohinyas had emerged and asked for help from the authorities in the southern provinces of Songkhla, Narathiwat, Trang, Pattani and Pangna.
People in Songkhla cooked and took care of eight Rohingya who are now taking shelter at a mosque in Hat Yai district. They stayed there, as the shelters provided by the government were crowded and not convenient for praying.
The Songkhla authorities have been alerted that some Rohingyas, among them mothers and infants, are still hiding in the mountains between Songkhla and Satun.
The Thai government has agreed to let UN High Commissioner for Refugees have access to Rohingya refugees and approved temporary assistance for a group of Rohingyas discovered hiding in Songkhla until their status is determined. "We need to determine who these people are, where they came from and what they want," UNHCR spokeswoman Vivian Tan said.
Golam Abbas, UNHCR’s representative in Thailand, added, "We would like this to happen as soon as possible, so that we can jointly look at their immediate humanitarian and protection needs."
The Rohingya from the Rakhine State in western Myanmar lost their rights to citizenship and property in 1982 by legislation that did not include them in that country's recognised ethnic minority groups.
Last year, the Rohingya were the target of ethnic clashes in Rakhine that left more than 100 dead and 115,000 displaced.