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Urgent Call To Action
URGENT CALL TO ACTION
YOUR SUPPORT IS DESPERATELY NEEDED TO
1. Prevent the forcible repatriation of more than 100,000 Burma refugees currently in Thailand.
2. Persuade the authorities of Thailand to grant temporary asylum to new refugees fleeing the current SLORC military regime's offensive in Karen state.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
On March 11, Thailand's National Security Council announced its resolution
to repatriate all Burma refugees when the situation became "safe". There
are at least 100,000 refugees currently camped in Thailand along its
border with Burma. It appears that T hai authorities have already begun
preparations for the mass repatriation.
These preparations are taking place at the same time that thousands of
newly arriving refugees (fleeing renewed attacks by the SLORC) are either
being prevented from entering Thailand or are being repatriated. Those
newly-arrived refugees who were allowe d to enter Thailand are now being
told that their repatriation is imminent. They are being confined to
camps without adequate care, shelter or access to medical assistance. The
Thai military refuse to recognise these people as refugees acid are
severely limiting access by NG0s and relief agencies.
Foreign officials have been told that the Thai army will not send the
refugees back against their however, recent military activities on the
border contradict these assurances and give grave cause for concern that
this is indeed taking place.
The refugee communities are now in a state of extreme fear and anxiety.
It is clearly unsafe for them to return to Burma. The SLORC has tightened
security throughout Burma and has increased its harassment and violations
against the peoples of Burma. De spite SLORC assurances that its troops
will not harm villages, human rights organisations report that most homes
were looted in SLORC-occupied villages. Many civilians have been forced
to work for the military as slave labour. There have also been numer ous
instances of rape and murder. International organisations, including, UN
agencies, have not received any indication that the SLORC intends to
decrease its oppressive campaign against ethnic nationalities, the
democracy movement and civilian citizens of Burma.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
PLEASE WRITE POLITE LETTERS TO:
1. Lodge your grave concern at the crisis
2. Seek the suspension of repatriation activities until
a) the Slorc ceases violating the rights of people in Burma
b) the Slorc ceases to loot villages , and commit violence, including rape
and murder upon villages
c) the Slorc engages in tripartite dialogue with the democracy movement
led by Aung San Suu Kyi and ethnic nationalities
d) international relief and monitoring agencies are allowed into Burma as
well as the Thai-Burma border areas without obstruction
e) it is guaranteed that any repatriation can be implemented in full
accordance with the standards if international practice.
3. Seek that the government of Thailand recognise the new arrivals as refugees and accord ALL refugees access to monitoring and aid agencies in accordance with international standards.
4. Emphasise that refugees YA continue to be forced to flee their homes until genuine peace and justice is restored to Burma.
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO: His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej c/o the
Royal Secretary Fax: 66 2 225 8156 - 8, 225 3457 The Grand Palace Phra
Chan Road Bangkok 10200 (Salutation: Your Majesty) Note: It is
traditional practice for people to seek the King's intervention to resolve
difficult crises and problems. Historically, the King of Thailand always
showed compassion to refugees from neighbouring countries, so please
respectfully refer to thi s Royal practice. Please thank His Majesty for
his compassion and generosity in welcoming refugees in the past and call
upon him to continue exercising this compassion by intervening to
alleviate this crisis.
Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh Fax: 66 2 281 4358, 280 1443
(Salutation: Dear Prime Minister)
National Security Council of Thailand
Fax: 66 2 280 1681
(Salutation: Dear Sir)
The Chairperson Human Rights Standing Committee, of the House of
Representatives, Parliament of Thailand Fax: 66 2 244 1625 - 6
(Salutation: Dear Sir)
Your government's Foreign Affairs Ministry
The local representative office of the UNHCR Ale Bangkok Post (Fax: 66 2
240 3666, email: postbag@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx) and The Nation (Fax: 66 2 317
2071, email: editor@,nation.nationgroup.com) If possible, please send a
delegation your closest Thai diplomatic mission to present a copy of your
letter. This would be an opportunity to focus your local media on the