BANGKOK, 31 January 2013 The Foreign Minister is set to lead a special delegation from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to Thailand’s South for first-hand information on how the country has been handling the Rohingya migrants.
The Lower House Committee on laws, justice and human rights, on Wednesday, discussed the issue of illegal Rohingya migrants with representatives from the Foreign Ministry, the Royal Thai Police Bureau, the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) and the National Security Council.
The committee was updated on how the Thai authorities have been assisting the migrants, if there is any plan to push them to a third country and whether such a country has been contacted.
The Foreign Ministry representative has assured that essential assistance has been extended to them, in accordance with the principles of humanitarianism while reporting that initial talks with the detained Rohingyas found that most do not want to return to Myanmar but travel to a third country.
At the same time, the Ministry informed the meeting about the Myanmar government’s readiness for the repatriation of the Rohingyas when the situation in the country is calmer. It added that no third country has been contacted just yet.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul added that the government plans to allow some 1,300 Rohingya migrants, currently under state detention, to remain in Thailand for no longer than 6 months.
The Foreign Minister also informed the Lower House Committee that he will lead a delegation of OIC and diplomats to visit those Rohingya migrants detained in the South.
He will also bring them to the southern border region to receive an update and ask for their suggestions on Thailand’s efforts to quell the years-long insurgent unrest.