Boat people sordid scandal : Abhisit in hot (sea) water… CNN accuses

boatpeople3

The rope is tightening around the neck of Abhisit… he won’t be able to lie longer… or to continue to be ridiculed and duped by the thai generals.

Despite pathetic and revolting statements (read here and here)… the Prime Minister must now come clean.

CNN has put on line a new report and video (with new testimonies and a source within the thai military) about the boat people ordeal.

This report comes after the BBC and many others.

Bedraggled, hungry and dazed, the refugees arrived on the shores of Thailand after fleeing one of the most repressive governments in the world — the hard-line military regime in Myanmar, also known as Burma.

But a CNN investigation has uncovered evidence that for hundreds of Rohingya refugees — members of a Muslim minority group — abuse and abandonment at sea were what awaited them in Thailand, at the hands of Thai authorities. […]

The refugee, who identified himself as Iqbal Hussain, told CNN he was on one of six boats in a makeshift refugee fleet that arrived in Thailand in December.

He said all six boats with their refugee cargo were towed back out to sea in January, and five of the six boats sank. His boat made it back to shore, and he hid in the jungle for days until nearby villagers captured him.

In broken English and using sign language and drawings, he described what happened to the other men on the boats:

“All men dead,” he said, putting the number of dead at several hundred. […]

In Thailand, many instead have found deprivation and the possibility of desertion far off shore, according to the CNN investigation.

The source who provided CNN with photos of refugees in a boat being towed out to sea stressed that the Thai army had given the refugees food and water, but he also confirmed that the boats had been pulled for more than two days into international waters before they were set adrift.

His account directly contradicts briefings by senior Thai army sources who denied any such operation was undertaken.

A source in the Thai military, after extensive questioning, did confirm to CNN that the Thai army was operating a dump-at-sea policy. But the source defended it, insisting that each boatload of refugees was always given sufficient supplies of food and water. (CNN)

Let’s praise the western medias, independant medias (Phuket Wan) but also from Indonesia, South China Morning Post, and even Al Jazeera.

This sordid scandal is a terrible stain on Thailand (coming after many others)…

The thai military and state apparatus must stop thinking that they can do whatever they want, behind the back of the international community, and meanwhile selling to the same international community the “Land Of Smiles” fantasy.

Abhisit talked about “restoration of the rule of law“.

Enough of this unbearable hypocrisy !

UPDATE
You want to vomit ? Have a look a this paper… about the “wind”.

UPDATE  2
And another horrible report from a survivor (via Bangkok Pundit). Very precise, with a lot of details(412 people on a single boat… without engine, 100 kg of rice, and 200 liters of water, 102 people rescued only)…

13 Responses to “Boat people sordid scandal : Abhisit in hot (sea) water… CNN accuses”


  1. 1 FDL 26 January 2009 at 12:51 pm

    As witnesses and evidences pile irrefutably on, the Rohingya boat people scandal explodes to a huge scandal that shames Thailand because instead of extending mercy and succor to hundreds of refugees visibly in misery, Thailand may have deliberately caused their deaths. Inhumane and cruel!

    PM Abhisit should lead the call for a formal public inquiry into this scandal to determine the seed or source of the Thai army’s dump-at-sea policy towards the Rohingya refugees.

    I would like to believe that the ‘dump-at-sea policy’ was a colossal mistake and did not carry this motive to leave the refugees to die or drown at sea. But if some crazed Thai general really had such motive, I would like to know how it happened that the ‘dump-at-sea’ became official (but secretive) Thai policy.

  2. 2 chinesethai 26 January 2009 at 12:57 pm

    I don’t really think Abhisit is in hot water. Thai politics are now focusing on Thaksin’s latest phone-in! In fact, Abhisit has not said anything whether he denies or accepts the report.

    BTW, do the westerners that still come to Thailand for pleasure or long-stay care? Indeed, they don’t. It’s just nice to talk about human right while still enjoying living in Thailand.

  3. 3 ThaiCrisis 26 January 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Maybe I should have written : “Abhisit in hot… sea water” ?

    Anyway, I was speaking outside Thailand. It’s clear that within Thailand, price of gold and chinese new year are certainly hotter issues….

    But you’ll see : Abhisit will have to come up with something… with more substance.

    A few weeks after taking office… it’s really a bad timing for him.

    And CT, there is no need to use cynicism. Because it’s precisely cynicism, and sense of impunity, that caused this scandal…

  4. 4 Bedwyr 26 January 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Anther gem from the Democrat apologist:

    BTW, do the westerners that still come to Thailand for pleasure or long-stay care? Indeed, they don’t. It’s just nice to talk about human right while still enjoying living in Thailand.

    Meaning (presumably) that foreigners should feel privileged to live in Thailand and be so grateful that they dignore the many stupid and abhorrent things to which Thais are predisposed by their wonderful culture and education.

    Dear oh dear.

    Abhisit is really plumbing the depths of hypocrisy and weaselly behaviour by protecting his bosses and simply ignoring it all. There will be no real investigation of course. Thais have a short little span of attention and Abhisit will assume the rest of the world does too. I hope they don’t, and I hope they kick his Eton/Oxford educated ass for pretending to be a proper person.

    No wonder Thais don’t have any friends in the world.

    Bedwyr

  5. 5 brownie expert 26 January 2009 at 1:41 pm

    there is nothing new here. the brown nazis, aka thais, have been long abusing indochinese refugees. having people line up and wack anyone whose head is above the other or a little not straight was their favorite pastime. rape, rob, and murder was their trademark.

  6. 6 chinesethai 26 January 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Well, let’s wait for the result of the investigation already launched by Abhisit.

    It’s not quite a cynicism. This morning a British couple and an American, who were working out in the same gym as I was, still came to me, asking where they should enjoy their holidays here while CNN on the TV set behind them was running headlines, including this one of course.

    It won’t be a big deal when a western government does similar thing

    “THE AUSTRALIAN government was condemned as inhumane yesterday for refusing to allow into its territorial waters a ship with 434 asylum- seekers, inclu-ding sick people and children.

    The would-be refugees, understood to be mainly from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, had been rescued from a crippled Indonesian ferry by the Norwegian cargo ship Tampa. They include 22 women and 43 children. Last night they were 12 miles off Christmas Island, the Australian outpost 1,000 miles west of the mainland.

    Wahid Supriyadi, Indonesia’s foreign affairs spokesman, said: “If Australian authorities refused [entry] because they don’t have proper documents, we don’t see any reason to let them in. We find it hard to believe that the ferry departed from Indonesian waters. Refugees normally travel on small boats.”

    Karsten Klepsvik, a Norwegian foreign ministry spokesman, urged Australia and Indonesia to take responsibility for the refugees.

    Australia’s conservative government, led by John Howard, has adopted a hardline stance towards the swelling numbers of “Boat People” arriving on its shores, but this is the first time Australia has turned away a ship. “We simply cannot allow a situation to develop where Australia is seen … as a country of easy destination,” Mr Howard said. Food and medical supplies would be sent to the Tampa by helicopter from Christmas Island, the Prime Minister added.

    He said his government had taken legal advice and “it is our view, as a matter of international law, this matter is something that must be resolved between the government of Indonesia and the government of Norway”.

    An increasing number of refugees from the Middle East travel overland to Indonesia and pay “people smugglers” to take them to Australia, often in unseaworthy boats.

    Tampa had diverted from its course to Singapore to answer emergency calls from a sinking Indonesian vessel, the KM Palapa 1. Arne Rinnan, the Tampa’s captain, said five men had stormed the bridge and ordered him to take the group to Australia, threatening to throw themselves overboard unless he agreed.

    “They flatly refused to go back to Indonesia and they were threatening to jump overboard,” Captain Rinnan added. “It could have been turning into a really ugly situation.” He said the men told him: “We have left everything behind. The situation is very bad. We do not want to go to Singapore or Indonesia. We have nothing to lose.”

    Captain Rinnan told an Australian radio station he was worried about the health of two asylum-seekers, one who had suffered a suspected heart attack and the other who had a broken leg. Trod Svensen, vice-president of the Norwegian shipping company Wilh Wilhemsen, said some of the refugees had dysentery and other illnesses.

    Several such boats have arrived in Australia in the past fortnight, carrying more than 1,500 asylum-seekers, mainly from Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran, most of them via Christmas Island. The Tampa boatload is the largest single group to attempt entry. One report says a second boat carrying about 500 people is still heading for the island.

    The Australian government’s decision was condemned by human rights groups. Margaret Piper, executive director of the Refugee Council of Australia, said: “To prevent people from seeking protection is something that is contrary to our international obligations.”

    Australia, whose refugee policy is among the world’s harshest, has been criticised by the United Nations and Amnesty International for detaining asylum-seekers in grim Outback camps while their applications are processed.
    Independent Newspapers UK Limited”

  7. 7 Bedwyr 26 January 2009 at 3:14 pm

    @CT

    And you don’t see major differences between the Australian actions and the Thai actions?

    I bet you don’t.

    Try this.

    Thais bring them ashore, beat the crap out of them, probably steal what little they have, take the engines off their boats (and probably sell them) then tow them out to sea. Occasionally, just for fun, they will shoot a few, or tie their hands and feet and hurl them into the ocean, probably the ones that had nothing to steal.

    Odd. I didn’t see anything remotely like that in the Australian case, but you evidently see it as being perfectly acceptable because you despicable Thais are not the only animals who behave in an uncivilised and uneducated manner – right?

    Perhaps they need some Thais over there to show them how to do it properly huh?

    It would do your credibility no harm at all if you had the balls to simply say that what they did was wrong.

    Bedwyr

  8. 8 fall 26 January 2009 at 3:17 pm

    @Thaicrisis
    …the Prime Minister must now come clean.
    Why? He can just shut up and let the whole things slide. Just like a week before the switch when he was crying river for dissolution, then became a proud PM and absolutely no thai media raise a damn finger about dissolution.
    With current attitude and a little backing from the Thai medias, it wont belong before people turn back to guessing which 2-bit star got knock up before marry…

  9. 9 chinesethai 27 January 2009 at 4:51 am

    Bedwyr,

    Thais bring them ashore, beat the crap out of them, probably steal what little they have, take the engines off their boats (and probably sell them) then tow them out to sea. Occasionally, just for fun, they will shoot a few, or tie their hands and feet and hurl them into the ocean, probably the ones that had nothing to steal.

    What you wrote is purely speculation and based on your very own prejudice against this country. There has been no evidence that Thais beat them. And even pictures that CNN claims of Thais towing them off to sea have not been proven.

  10. 10 chinesethai 27 January 2009 at 5:01 am

    What about CNN which aired the pictures of Tibetan protesters brutally beaten last year and accused that it was China’s fault? It finally turned out to be the Nepali police who were cracking down on the violent protesters and CNN purposely and artfully inserted irrelevant frames, mixed them up, and played up the story just to mislead the audiences.

    Has it ever come forward to apologize about this distortion? Let bygone be bygone because it is a western media?

    This is another collaborative effort to damage Thailand’s reputation.

  11. 11 Bedwyr 27 January 2009 at 12:00 pm

    @CT

    You need to read more. There were corroborating reports from tourists that the ‘prisoners’ were beaten with straps while lying on the ground.

    I know it offends you but life does that sometimes. Sad but true.

    Bedwyr

  12. 12 Bedwyr 27 January 2009 at 12:05 pm

    @CT

    Why on earth would anybody bother. People across the world understand Thais; they are like hemorrhoids, we only notice them when start being a pain in the ass.

    Who on earth would bother creating elaborate fictions like this to discredit a small country in the third world? Nobody. It is just you Thais doing what you Thais do best. Lying in your teeth.

    Still, everyone is entitled to live in fairyland if they wish. Enjoy your conspiracy theory.

    Bedwyr

  13. 13 nisar 29 January 2009 at 10:54 am

    boat left in open sea it is shamefull we see that the good thai govt give justis. thai people are good people loving but please don’t change this perseption to others.


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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.


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