Articles on the TB[B]C
|Title:|| ||A Sad, Sad Celebration
|Date of publication:|| ||October 2009|
|Description/subject:|| ||Twenty-five years of challenges and achievements for the Thailand Burma Border Consortium—and no end in sight...
"When 10,000 Karen refugees fled a widening conflict along Burma’s eastern border into neighboring Thailand in early 1984, it was generally expected that they would return home in a few months with the onset of the rains and the withdrawal of Burmese government troops from the jungle.
The anticipated withdrawal never came, however. Government army units established supply lines, maintaining and consolidating their positions. The uprooted refugees stayed in Thailand.
Nine refugee camps are now home to more than 140,000 refugees who have fed war and terror in Burma. (Photo : TBBC)
Every dry season that followed brought fresh offensives by the Burma regime forces and new waves of refugees into Thailand. The fighting and regime abuses only grew in intensity—and 25 years later there are more than 140,000 Burmese refugees in nine camps along Thailand’s border with Burma. The number is steadily growing—despite an ambitious program of resettlement in the US and other Western countries.
In 1984, Thailand already had its hands full with a refugee crisis on its eastern borders. Foreign aid workers helping to care for Vietnamese, Lao and Cambodian refugees interrupted their relief efforts there and moved to the far west of the country to assist Thai authorities tackle what they were told would be only a temporary problem on the Thai-Burmese border.
An Englishman, Jack Dunford, was among that vanguard of relief workers. He helped set up a consortium of nongovernmental agencies to provide food to the refugees on a short-term basis. Dunford soon found himself dealing with a long-term task, and the fledgling organization, the Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC), took over his life..."|
|Author/creator:|| ||Jim Andrews|
|Source/publisher:|| ||"The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 7|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||27 February 2010|