Tue 31 May 2005
Filed under: News,On The Border
May 30: About 500 Shan refugees will have to return to Shan State on Tuesday, the deadline set by the Thai Army by which the group must be escorted back across the Thai-Burmese border.
The refugees, including more than 200 orphans, fled to Thailand’s Mae Hong Son province in April when rebel Shan State Army (South) forces clashed with the pro-Rangoon United Wa State Army.
These internally-displaced persons have been living in Doi Taileng camp just inside Burma since 2000. They left the camp after UWSA attacked the SSA-S in April.
Six Shan rights groups on Saturday asked the Thai government to reconsider its decision to repatriate the refugees to Burma
“Where do they move if they must leave Thai soil?” said Nang Hseng Noung of Shan Women Action Network. “The attacks could start again at any time despite the current pause in fighting between the Wa and Shan.”
The decision to relocate the refugees was announced by Thai Third Army Deputy Commander Major General Manas Paorik on May 18.