Thailand: Refugees International Board of Directors examining situation for Burmese refugees
The long-standing repression inside Burma, affecting both national democratic parties and ethnic movements struggling for recognition for their rights, is threatening the stability of the Southeast Asia region as a whole, as an estimated one million Burmese seek asylum and economic opportunities in neighboring countries. RI has and will continue to urge the United States to provide more humanitarian assistance through independent channels inside the country and the Thai government to allow UNHCR to facilitate a transparent process that allows deserving Burmese to attain refugee status and receive assistance in Thailand.
This assessment comes at a critical moment. The recent crackdown by the Burmese government on monks and democracy activists who organized anti-government demonstrations has been severe. The RI Board team will attempt to interview these individuals to better understand the current situation inside the country and discuss how regional governments, the United States, and other members of the UN Security Council should respond to these developments.
While assessing the situation for Burmese refugees in Thailand, RI will also identify specific needs to which international donors and the Thai government should respond.
Detailed findings and recommendations for response will be available when the mission returns.