Cambodians fearing crackdown on migrant workers in exodus from Thailand

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Cambodians fearing crackdown on migrant workers in exodus from Thailand

ตั้งหัวข้อ  goosehhardcore on Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:16 pm



Thai Army Adopts Thaksin-Style Populist Steps to Spur Growth
By Bloomberg News  Jun 12, 2014 11:15 AM

Thailand’s junta is taking a page out of Thaksin Shinawatra’s policy playbook, adopting some of the populist measures that drove his political success in a move that may help stabilize growth for the remainder of 2014.

Since the May 22 coup that displaced former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s Pheu Thai government, the military has vowed to accelerate budget spending, capped fuel costs and asked consumer-product makers to freeze prices, echoing steps favored by Yingluck and her brother Thaksin. It also restarted payments under a disputed rice purchase program, aiding farmers who were the biggest supporters of the Shinawatras.

“Now I can pay off my debt to the loan shark and get back my land which I used as collateral,” Wilaiwan Seua-sang, a 52-year-old mother and supporter of the rival Democrat Party, said by phone on June 10 after tending her rice field in the northern province of Nakhon Sawan. Wilaiwan also bought a new Honda Wave motorcycle this month.

The measures have helped improve Thailand’s economic outlook since the coup, reducing pressure on the central bank to cut interest rates. The junta’s efforts to spur growth and “return happiness to the people” also take aim at the political dominance of parties linked to Thaksin, which have had a lock on electoral majorities since 2001 with a platform of expanded public services and aid to lower-income households.

Building Support

“It’s a new kind of coup that focuses on the economy,” said Kampon Adireksombat, an economist at Tisco Securities Co. in Bangkok who previously taught in the economics department at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. “They have made the right move in unlocking money for farmers first, because that’s a key drag on the economy. This will not only help boost consumption, but also build support for them.”

Thailand’s stocks have outpaced most Southeast Asian peers since the coup, with the benchmark SET Index (SET) rallying more than 4 percent since May 22. The gauge gained 0.1 percent as of 11:10 a.m. in Bangkok. Consumer confidence rose in May for the first time in 14 months.

About 800,000 farmers nationwide will receive overdue payments totaling 92 billion baht ($2.8 billion) by the end of June, as the military government orders funds released for grain sold since October under a rice program introduced by Yingluck. The payouts had stalled in recent months as Yingluck was investigated for alleged negligence in preventing an estimated 500 billion baht in losses from the program, based on the anti-graft commission’s report.

Pato Chemical Industry Pcl (PATO), a distributor of pesticides, said sales jumped shortly after the coup after suffering from a slump since February.

Orders Recover

“Our orders from dealers came back right after the junta announced the payments to farmers,” said Managing Director Viwat Trillit. “This is such a promising sign. The payment to farmers will help jumpstart the economy.”

The boost to rice farmers will help lift gross domestic product by 210 billion baht, said Bhumisak Rasri, director at the Agricultural Economics Operation Center. The estimate translates to almost 2 percent of GDP.

“Confidence has improved but there are some limitations this year, so growth won’t be that high,” Bank of Thailand Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul told reporters today in Bangkok. “Consumption can’t rise much because people have a lot of debt. High household debt will be the main limitation.”

‘Very Careful’

The populist policies of the Shinawatra governments were attacked by opponents for being fiscally irresponsible. The military has pledged to rid subsidy schemes of corruption, intimating this is what will differentiate it from previous administrations.

“We are very careful with the national budget in order to make sure that all are in accordance with the law, fair, and transparent,” coup leader Prayuth Chan-Ocha said June 6.

The junta has vowed to revive infrastructure investments to boost Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy, which contracted in the first quarter. Prayuth also capped cooking-gas and diesel prices and approved handouts to the tourism industry.

“It’s one thing to buy popularity in the near term with populist policies but in the end that will only last for a very short amount of time,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at consultancy IHS Inc. “In the long run the emphasis has to be on infrastructure investments, it has to be on improving the climate in Thailand for inwards investment.”

Winning Hearts

The junta’s policy focus will likely now shift to the economy, reducing the risk of further monetary easing by the Bank of Thailand, Benjamin Shatil, a Singapore-based analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co., said in a June note. The central bank’s rate-setting committee is scheduled to meet on June 18.

“Recent developments remove some downside risk” to JPMorgan’s second-half growth forecast, Shatil said. “Fiscal stimulus will support growth in the second half of the year.”

Winning the hearts of Thaksin’s entrenched supporters may be less straightforward. While farmer Wilaiwan is “very happy and grateful” that the army is making the payments to rice farmers and will continue to vote for the Democrat Party that opposed the Shinawatra administrations, she says her cousins backed Thaksin and will probably continue to do so.


The junta believes “that it can build mass support for the new regime with such policies,” Michael Montesano, coordinator of the Thailand Studies Programme at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, said in a June 10 e-mail. “The junta may believe that people in the Thai provinces want only goodies. But many of those people also want to feel that they have a participatory stake in the country. Hand-outs from men in green with guns will not meet that interest in participation.”

source: Thai Army Adopts Thaksin-Style Populist Steps to Spur Growth - Bloomberg http://dlvr.it/5yTVgZ


แก้ไขล่าสุดโดย goosehhardcore เมื่อ Sun Jun 15, 2014 6:47 pm, ทั้งหมด 4 ครั้ง
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Re: Cambodians fearing crackdown on migrant workers in exodus from Thailand

ตั้งหัวข้อ  goosehhardcore on Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:26 pm



บทวิจารณ์: "เกมส์โอเวอร์แล้วสำหรับประชาธิปไตยไทย"

ลองมาเลิกหลอกลวงกันเถอะสำหรับประเทศไทย มีเรื่องแต่งระดับสากลอยู่เรื่องหนึ่ง ที่ว่ารัฐประหารเมื่อสัปดาห์ก่อนเป็นแค่การขัดจังหวะการปกครองระบอบประชาธิปไตยเพียงชั่วคราวเท่านั้น..

ไม่จริง หลักฐานในศตวรรษนี้ได้ชี้ให้เห็นว่าประเทศไทยไม่ได้เป็นประชาธิปไตยเลยแม้แต่นิดเดียว

รัฐประหารครั้งล่าสุดเป็นการยืนยันว่าประเทศนี้ได้ปฏิเสธหลักการพื้นฐานตามระบอบประชาธิปไตย ซึ่งก็คือการที่ประชาชนเลือกผู้นำของตนตั้งแต่ปี 2001 ประชาชนได้เลือกผู้นำประเทศอย่างเด็ดขาด พวกเขาได้ลงคะแนนเสียงให้กับพรรคของทักษิณ ชินวัตรและคณะในการเลือกตั้งถึงหกครั้งติดต่อกัน

ในปี 2005 ชัยชนะของทักษิณถือว่าเป็นชัยชนะครั้งยิ่งใหญ่ที่สุดในประวัติศาสตร์ไทยสมัยใหม่ ในขณะที่ชัยชนะของน้องสาวของเขาในปี 2011เป็นอันดับสอง ซึ่งคนไทยได้ยืนยันการตัดสินใจของพวกเขาอีกครั้งในผลสำรวจที่ทำขึ้นเมื่อเพียงแค่สามเดือนก่อน

เหมือนกับทุกๆครั้งในการเลือกตั้งในประเทศไทยที่มีการโกงการเลือกตั้ง แต่ก็ไม่มีผู้เชียวชาญที่มีความน่าเชื่อถือคนใดกล้าเถียงว่า ผลลัพธ์ของการเลือกตั้งหกครั้งก่อนไม่ได้สะท้อนถึงตัวเลือกของประชาชนและนั่นชัดเจนมาก

คุณไม่จำเป็นต้องเชื่อคำพูดผม หนึ่งในผู้นำของผู้ประท้วงเสื้อเหลืองซึ่งช่วยในการล้มล้างรัฐบาลของทักษิณและเจ้าพ่อแห่งสื่อที่มีนามว่าสนธิ ลิ้มทองกุล ได้พูดอย่างเรียบง่ายไว้ว่า "ระบบผู้แทนแบบประชาธิปไตยไม่เหมาะกับประเทศไทย"

มันทำให้หนึ่งในเพชรแห่งเอเชียตะวันออกเฉียงใต้และประเทศที่มีเศรฐกิจใหญ่ที่สุดอันดับสองของภูมิภาคอยู่ในแดนสนธยาอันประหลาด ในขณะที่ประเทศอื่นในเอเชียตะวันออกได้ก้าวหน้าไปยังความเป็นประชาธิปไตยและสิทธิที่เท่ากันของพลเรือนในช่วงสามสิบปีที่ผ่านมา แต่ประเทศไทยกลับถดถอยลงแม้กระทั่งไต้หวัน เกาหลีใต้ และ อินโดนิเซียได้มีการมอบเสรีภาพอย่างสมบูรณ์ให้แก่ประชาชน แม้กระทั่งนายพลทหารพม่าได้มีการผ่อนผันเพื่อให้มีเสรีภาพทางการเมือง แต่ในประเทศไทยตอนนี้กลับกลายเป็นว่านายพลทหารคือผู้บริหารประเทศ.. อีกครั้ง

อะไรล่ะคือตัวการที่สมคบคิดกันต่อต้านผลลัพธ์ของประชาธิปไตย?
การกวาดล้างรัฐบาลทักษิณแสดงให้เห็นสามสิ่ง หนึ่งคือพลังของการประท้วงบนถนนของเสื้อเหลือง สองคือศาล และ สามคือทหาร

อย่างไรก็ตามไม่ใช่ทหารทั้งหมด เนื่องจากว่านายพลทหารที่ยึดอำนาจเมื่อวันพฤหัสบดีก่อน - ประยุทธ์ จันทร์โอชา - โดยมียศเป็นผู้บัญชาการทหารบก ไม่ใช่ผู้บัญชาการทหารทั้งหมด เขาได้กันทหารระดับสูงคนอื่นออกไปเพื่อลุแก่อำนาจ

สามกลุ่มนี้ทำงานกันเป็นคณะรัฐประหารสามส่วน หนึ่งคือเสื้อเหลืองปิดถนนหลายเส้นในกรุงเทพกว่าหกเดือน สร้างภาพให้มีความวุ่นวายเพื่อสร้างวิกฤติทางการเมือง สองคือศาลได้ปลดนายกยิ่งลักษณ์ ชินวัตรออกจากตำแหน่ง แล้วปล่อยให้พรรคของเธออยู่ในอำนาจที่ถูกลดทอนลงตามกฎหมายอย่างมาก สามคือทหารได้อ้างถึงความจำเป็นที่ต้องมีการแก้ไขวิกฤติพวกนี้และยึดอำนาจ

ตัวการเหล่านี้ "สิ้นหวังมากกับการที่อยากจะกำจัดทักษิณและพรรคพวกจนกระทั่งพวกเขาจับประเทศทั้งประเทศเป็นตัวประกันตามอำเภอใจ" Brad Adams ซึ่งเป็นผู้อำนวยการองค์การสิทธิมนุษยชนเอเชีย กล่าว

แปลโดย มัชฌิมา
ที่มา: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/game-over-for-democracy-in-thailand-20140526-zrord.html#ixzz32vwE9sYY — via web board Pantip
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Re: Cambodians fearing crackdown on migrant workers in exodus from Thailand

ตั้งหัวข้อ  goosehhardcore on Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:04 am



Thai Military Junta Says the Putsch Should Not Be Called a Coup
By Bloomberg News  Jun 12, 2014 3:50 PM

Thailand’s military rulers have a message for an international community concerned about their recent takeover of the country: It’s not a coup.

Having used the threat of military trial to stifle criticism of the junta in the Thai press, schools and on the streets, Army Chief Prayuth Chan-Ocha is sending diplomats to explain the situation to foreign governments and ask for understanding. It’s also asking the media to make a few tweaks.

“Please avoid using the word coup because the context of what happened in Thailand is completely different,” Colonel Werachon Sukondhapatipak, the junta spokesman, said last night at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand. “The only thing that happened in Thailand is the change of the administration of this country.”

After ousting the elected government on May 22, the army suspended the constitution and used its powers under martial law to ban political activities, enforce a curfew and put soldiers in television stations. It ordered more than 300 people to report in, including politicians, protesters, journalists and academics. Those who report are held in army camps for as long as a week, while those who don’t become fugitives whose assets can be frozen and face two years in jail if caught.

“I don’t like the word detention,” Werachon said last night. People are asked if they need anything “apart from the air condition, apart from the good food, apart from the activities that we provide, apart from all kinds of facilities that make you feel time passing by so quick and apart from the entertainment that we provide? This is detention?”

Summoned, ‘Invited’

Instead of summoned, Werachon uses the word “invited,” and rather than detained uses “remain in army accommodation.” “We just want to provide them a cooling off period in order for them to think over the situation and we don’t want them to have any other influences from outside,” he said.

The junta says it had to take control of Thailand because seven months of protests and conflict killed at least 28 people, paralyzed the government and risked civil war. It seized power days before groups were set to intensify their rallies both in opposition and support of Yingluck Shinawatra, who was removed as prime minister by a court in early May.

“This is not the democracy that we want,” Werachon said. “We want something sustainable. That is why I am saying that we are not destroying democracy, we strengthen democracy.”

Prayuth says he staged the kingdom’s 12th coup since 1932 to “return happiness to the Thai people.” He has said there can be no elections until the system is reformed -- a process that will take at least 15 months -- and the country is united.

Foreign Explanation

Prayuth held a meeting yesterday with Thai ambassadors to key countries to brief them them about the plans of the National Council for Peace and Order, the junta’s official name.

“It’s impossible for all countries to agree with our action to seize power this time,” Prayuth said. “Our job is to speed up to make them understand and accept that things will ease when they understand the NCPO’s intention.”

The coup has been criticized by countries such as the U.S., U.K., Japan and Australia, with some suspending military cooperation. Rights groups have voiced concern about post-coup detentions and the crackdown on freedom of expression.

“The Thai junta’s detentions are exacerbated by holding people in secret,” Brad Adams, the Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement yesterday. All those “held without being charged with a credible offense should be freed immediately.”

Werachon called for patience over the junta’s actions. “We try to adjust the mood and tone of society,” he said. “History will judge the Thai military.”


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-12/thai-military-junta-says-the-putsch-should-not-be-called-a-coup.html?cmpid=yhoo
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Re: Cambodians fearing crackdown on migrant workers in exodus from Thailand

ตั้งหัวข้อ  goosehhardcore on Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:15 am



Barney Frank: It’s time to stand up to Thai regime
We should impose the toughest nonmilitary sanctions.


I have long been skeptical of the claim by many who push for more American intervention in the affairs of other nations that they are driven largely by the impulse to defend basic democratic values. In many cases, the stronger motivation seems clearly to be a desire to protect or expand American influence in the world, even when there is no discernible benefit to our country from doing so, nor any loss of anything important if we abstain. My conviction that this is the case is reinforced by the fact that the pressure for more intervention in recent times has come primarily from conservatives and have been predominately aimed at regimes that they perceive to be too far to the left.

The terrible situation in Thailand gives them a chance to prove me wrong. There is no situation in the world today where basic democratic values are more explicitly violated than in that unfortunate country. Earlier in this century, Thaksin Shinwatra led his party to victory in a free election. His strongest support was in the poor northeastern part of the country, and he defeated the party strongly supported by the wealthier, establishment sectors in Thailand. He offended the latter first by winning an indisputably fair election over their opposition, and then by pursuing policies which benefited the poor and were highly popular with a strong majority of Thais.

He was then overthrown in a military coup, and subsequently found guilty of corruption by a judiciary which, as it has performed over the past few year, makes the Supreme Court opinion giving George W. Bush the presidency over Al Gore look like a shining example of judicial objectivity.

After the demonstrable inability of the military to govern, civilian rule returned and while Shinawatra was banned from the country by the judicial rulings, his sister Yingluck Shinawatra took over as party leader and won an equally decisive victory in another fair election.

Frustrated by the obvious preference of a majority of Thais for a government that was paying attention to their needs, and that was governing in an responsible fashion, with no disruption of the private sector, nor any discouragement of foreign investment, the elite was faced with a dilemma: Their opponents were not only winning elections, they were governing reasonably, leaving no basis for an effort to overthrow them.

So the economic elite perused a two track strategy. First, they explicitly denounced democracy, not even pretending to argue that their electoral losses were somehow based on improper processes. Instead, they openly argued that the great number of people who had voted against them were incompetent to be entrusted with the decision as to who should govern the country, and they called for the replacement of democracy in Thailand with an appointed council of leaders – Plato’s Republic with its wise guardians directing the affairs of an incompetent population that literally believed in shadows is a pretty good model of their approach.

Simultaneously, they began a massive show of civil disobedience, aided by the fact they have greater popular strength in the Bangkok area than in the country at large, allowing them seriously to interfere with the government’s functioning. They were aided in this sabotage of the democratic process by a military unwilling to enforce the rule of law.

Predictably, this stalemate in which the wealthy minority was allowed by military passivity and biased judicial rulings to prevent the government that had been duly elected from functioning led to concern about the economic future of the country. So the military agencies intervened – not by restoring order and allowing the government that had won the last elections to govern, but by overthrowing it.

At first the military claimed to be acting in a somewhat neutral capacity to referee the dispute, which in itself is of course an undermining of democracy, since it was a dispute between people who were duly elected and those who denounced elections since they knew they could not win them. More recently, the military has made clear it is acting in the service of the wealthy elite that does not want to relinquish control of the country, and in particular opposes policies which diminish inequality.

The military has paid lip service to democracy by announcing that there might be elections in the future. But the problem faced by the military and the wealthy on whose behalf they are acting is that no one doubts that in any future election, the party of the Shinawatras will again prevail.

To date, I have not heard the cries of outrage from those in America, especially, although not exclusively, among Republican senators and right wing advocacy groups, that America must come to the defense of democracy in Thailand. I have no sympathy for those left wing governments that have suppressed democracy and civil liberties. I consider Fidel Castro to be one of the great betrayers of democracy in recent world history because he came to power based on an appeal to human rights and then became one of the most effective deniers of those rights in power. Similarly, I support American criticism of the regime in Venezuela, first under Hugo Chavez and now under his successor, Nicholas Maduro, which is abusive of basic freedom in many cases.

But by comparison, the refusal of the richest people in Thailand to allow a party that represents lower-income people to govern, even after it wins successive elections, is a far greater denial of human rights than anything that has happened in Venezuela. And with the temporary – we hope – imprisonment of the supporters of the people who had the temerity to win elections on behalf of redistributive economic policies puts the Thai establishment on the track to equal to the Cuban regime on the moral scale. Chillingly, the military recently justified this detention of elected leaders and their supporters by announcing that they were “giving them time to think.”George Orwell in his 1984 depiction of totalitarianism and its semantic justifications could not have put it better.

Unlike Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham with regard to Syria, I am not urging American military intervention or arming the victims of this oppression. But any claim that we are acting in defense of fundamental human rights and democracy requires that we impose the toughest possible nonmilitary sanctions on the current Thai regime. Once again a comparison comes to mind: At this point the denial of the basic rights of the Thai people to govern themselves far exceeds the damage that has been done to the people of Ukraine, as much as I deplore that, and it is striking that those American political and intellectual leaders who have been critical of the president for not doing more to punish Putin have said little or nothing about the moral imperative to act against the explicitly anti-democratic Thai regime.

I await a demonstration that many of the conservatives who have been critical of President Obama for insufficient interventionism in the affairs of others are not upset only when those threats come from entities perceived to be on the left, but are in fact are demonstrating a genuine commitment to support for democracy whenever it is threatened. The relative silence with which the brutalization of democracy in Thailand has been greeted among many of those who clamor most loudly for a more assertive American role on behalf of “human rights” as they phrase it, is striking.

People seeking to establish their credentials as defenders of democracy must put the case of Thailand very high on their agendas.

Barney Frank is a retired congressman and the author of landmark legislation. He divides his time between Maine and Massachusetts.

Twitter: @BarneyFrank
— Special to the Telegram
This story was corrected on June 5. A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the former leader of Venezuela as Cesar Chavez, not Hugo Chavez. http://www.pressherald.com/2014/05/31/barney-frank-its-time-to-stand-up-to-thai-regime/


แก้ไขล่าสุดโดย goosehhardcore เมื่อ Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:20 pm, ทั้งหมด 1 ครั้ง
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Re: Cambodians fearing crackdown on migrant workers in exodus from Thailand

ตั้งหัวข้อ  goosehhardcore on Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:06 pm


Photo: Migrant workers wait for transport in Poipet, Banteay Meanchey province, Cambodia on Friday. Photo: Xinhua

Cambodians fearing crackdown on migrant workers in exodus from Thailand

Cambodian migrant workers, fearing a crackdown by the new military authorities, are leaving Thailand in their tens of thousands

Tens of thousands of Cambodians have fled neighbouring Thailand to return home, fearing a crackdown on migrant workers under Thailand’s new military government, a senior Cambodian official said on Saturday. Activists said the workers had been forced out of the country, but Thailand denied the accusation.

More than 84,000 workers have returned this month through the border crossing at the western Cambodian town of Poipet, said Kor Samsarouet, the governor of Cambodia’s Banteay Meanchey province. About 40,000 crossed on Friday alone, and 10,000 returned on Saturday morning, he said.


The UN-affiliated International Organisation for Migration (IOM) gave similar figures, tweeting on Saturday morning that 60,000 migrants had crossed back so far, including 37,000 on Friday. “More than half of the migrants are women and children,” IOM said in an earlier statement. “Aside from transport, there is also a growing need for food, water, health care and shelter.”

The Cambodian government has sent scores of trucks to Poipet to take the workers home.

The trigger for the exodus seems to have been statements by Thailand’s military government, which took power in a coup last month, that it would crack down on illegal immigrants and those employing them. Several were reportedly fired from jobs and sent home, and the idea spread that both legal and illegal workers were being ejected.

The numbers of those fleeing swelled as unsubstantiated rumours circulated that Thai authorities had shot dead or beaten several Cambodian workers. Thai authorities have denied the rumours and sought to quell concerns about a crackdown, adding that they have plans to systematise migrant labour.


cr. Jun 14, 2014@RichardBarrow >> [South China Morning Post] Cambodians fearing crackdown on migrant workers in exodus from Thailand

http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/article/1532647/cambodians-fearing-crackdown-migrant-workers-exodus-thailand … #Thailand

กรรมการสิทธิกัมพูชาบอกว่า แรงงานเขมรโดนทหารไทยฆ่าตายไป 9 และมีอย่างน้อย 2 คนที่ถูกยิงตอนพยายามแย่งบัตรแรงงานต่างด้าวถูกกฎหมายจากทหารที่กำลังจะฉีกมันทิ้ง Witnesses have alleged that of the nine Cambodian migrants killed, at least two were shot to death after they tried to take back legal working papers that Thai soldiers had begun to tear up, the Cambodia Daily reported, quoting Soum Chankea, Banteay Meanchey provincial coordinator for ADHOC.


แก้ไขล่าสุดโดย goosehhardcore เมื่อ Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:42 pm, ทั้งหมด 1 ครั้ง
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Re: Cambodians fearing crackdown on migrant workers in exodus from Thailand

ตั้งหัวข้อ  goosehhardcore on Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:13 pm



Photo: Sam Rainsy, President of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, talks to returned workers from Thailand during a press conference in Phnom Penh on Friday. Photo: EPA

Cambodians, working both legally and illegally, fill low-paying and undesirable jobs shunned by most Thais, as do migrants from Thailand’s other poor neighbours, especially Myanmar.

Cambodian Labour Minister Ith Samheng told reporters that about 200,000 Cambodian migrants had been working in Thailand, just 80,000 of them legally. Other estimates of the number of workers are higher.

As the number of Cambodians seeking to leave ballooned this past week, Thai immigration authorities joined hands with the military to help transport them to the border, said Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman Sek Wannamethee, emphasising that the process was meant to provide convenience to the Cambodian workers, not to forcibly expel them.

“The Thai authorities realise the importance of migrant workers from neighbouring countries toward driving Thailand’s economy forward,” he said. “As a result, we would like to revamp and integrate the management system, as well as to get rid of exploitation from smugglers, in a bid to prevent abuses of the workers and human trafficking problems.”

The Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee, a coalition of 21 nongovernment organisations, saw the matter differently, posting an open letter on Thursday deploring what it described as the Thai junta’s decision to deport Cambodian migrants en masse.

“The Thai military violated the human rights of undocumented Cambodian migrant workers when it forcefully expelled them from the country, placing them in crowded trucks,” the letter said, accusing the army of subjecting the workers to “cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment”.

Cambodia and Thailand have a history of strained relations. Many Cambodians regard their bigger and richer neighbour as pushy, and the two nations have had several armed skirmishes in the past decade over disputed border territory.

Thailand’s new military leaders also distrust Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen as a friend of former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted by an earlier coup in 2006, and there have been accusations that Cambodia sent terrorists to Thailand to foment trouble on his behalf.

Thai army and paramilitary rangers in the past few years have also been accused of shooting dead several Cambodians they caught allegedly carrying out illegal logging in frontier areas.
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Re: Cambodians fearing crackdown on migrant workers in exodus from Thailand

ตั้งหัวข้อ  goosehhardcore on Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:54 pm



RT @IOMasiapacific: Cambodian migrants wait 5km inside #Thailand for transport to the border. 70000 crossed this week
Credit : Richard Barrow ‏@RichardBarrow  


Jun 14, 2014 // Andrew RC Marshall ‏@Journotopia >> Thai foreign ministry: Deporting thousands of Cambodians is part of the junta's campaign to "clean up society." http://twitdoc.com/311G
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Re: Cambodians fearing crackdown on migrant workers in exodus from Thailand

ตั้งหัวข้อ  goosehhardcore on Sun Jun 15, 2014 6:48 pm



Channel NewsAsia : 110,000 Cambodian migrants flee Thailand after coup http://cna.asia/1lnEbkT

PHNOM PENH: More than 110,000 Cambodians have fled Thailand to return home in the past week, fearing a crackdown on migrant workers after last month's military takeover, an official said Sunday.


Labourers from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar play a key role in Thai industries such as seafood, agriculture and construction, but they often lack official work permits.

On Wednesday Thailand's military regime, which seized power in a coup on May 22, had threatened to arrest and deport all illegal foreign workers.

"They're returning en masse like a dam collapsing. They've never come en masse like this before in our history," Kor Sam Saroeut, governor of northwestern Banteay Meanchey province where the main Cambodian-Thai border crossing is located, told AFP by telephone.

More than 110,000 Cambodian migrants had returned from Thailand in the last week as of Sunday morning, many of them transported to the border by the Thai military, he said.

"They said they are scared of being arrested or shot if they run when Thai authorities check their houses," Saroeut added. "Most of them went to work in Thailand without a work permit."

The mass exodus comes after Thai army spokeswoman Sirichan Ngathong on Wednesday said the junta viewed illegal workers as a "threat".

"We see illegal workers as a threat because there were a lot of them and no clear measures to handle them, which could lead to social problems," she said.

Cambodian authorities have arranged nearly 300 cars and military trucks to transport workers from the Aranyaprathet-Poipet border checkpoint to their homes, according to Cambodian governor Saroeut on Sunday.

Chea Thea, a 33-year-old construction worker, said she returned to Cambodia two days ago as part of a convoy of 20 cars organised by Thai authorities -- deciding to leave after seeing her compatriots were departing in large numbers.

"Cambodian migrants are coming back. We feel scared," she said from her parents' home in northwestern Battambang province.

"When the situation is better I may go back," Thea said.

Thai military officials were not immediately available for comment on the mass exodus.

But on Friday a foreign ministry spokesman dismissed "rumours" that the army was rounding up illegal Cambodian migrants and ordering their deportation.

"Such rumours have caused large number of illegal Cambodian workers to report and register themselves with Thai agencies," said Sek Wannamethee, adding that Thailand immigration officials had "collaborated" by arranging transport for their return home.

Soum Chankea, a coordinator for Cambodian rights group ADHOC who has met many workers at the border, said the number of migrants returning to the country was growing each day.

"They keep coming, more and more. Thousands more have arrived in Poipet (border checkpoint) this morning," he told AFP by telephone.

Six Cambodian workers and a Thai driver transporting them to the border province of Sa Kaeo died in an accident early Sunday morning, said Thai police official Sommart Meungmuti.

The accident, which left another 12 people injured, is suspected to have been caused by a tyre explosion, he added.

Thailand is usually home to more than two million migrant workers, according to activists.

In the past the authorities turned a blind eye to the presence of illegal labourers because they were needed when the economy was booming.

But now Thailand is on the verge of recession after the economy contracted 2.1 percent quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of 2014.

The army has floated the idea of creating special economic zones in border areas to better manage the movement of migrant workers, although so far details of the plan remain vague.

The coup followed years of political divisions between a military-backed royalist establishment and the family of fugitive former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra -- a close ally of Cambodian premier Hun Sen, who once called him an "eternal friend".

On Friday Cambodia's opposition leader Sam Rainsy wrote to Thailand's Army Chief Prayuth Chan-ocha calling for Cambodian migrants to be "treated in line with international human rights standards".

His letter followed allegations from local rights organisations about the mistreatment of labourers by Thai authorities.

- AFP/xq
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Re: Cambodians fearing crackdown on migrant workers in exodus from Thailand

ตั้งหัวข้อ  goosehhardcore on Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:40 pm



Cambodian workers pour out of a train station in Aranyaprathet #Thailand
(Credit.Twitter: Amy Sawitta Lefevre ‏@MimiSawitta / Jun 15, 2014)
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Re: Cambodians fearing crackdown on migrant workers in exodus from Thailand

ตั้งหัวข้อ  goosehhardcore on Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:29 pm



[MCOT] Ko Samet Island tourism, business operators badly affected by mass exodus of Cambodian workers http://www.mcot.net/site/content?id=53a11ee3be0470861c8b45a4#.U6FB9m8cDFY.twitter … #Thailand credit.twitter: Richard Barrow ‏@RichardBarrow

By Digital Content | 18 มิ.ย. 2557 12:08 |

RAYONG, June 18 -- The exodus of Cambodian workers has deeply affected business on Ko Samet Island, a renowned tourist destination in Thailand’s eastern resort province of Rayong, according to the provincial chamber of commerce.

Anuchida Chinsiraprapha, chair of the Rayong Chamber of Commerce, said that despite attempts of Thai authorities to allay concerns of foreign workers, most of them remained worried and their departures obviously impacted small- and medium-sized enterprises.

She said that all 500 Cambodian workers on Ko Samet had already left local shops, restaurants and hotels and consequently there was little labour remaining on duty in the service sector on the tourist island.

Ms Anuchida also said that the labour shortage was also severe in the agricultural sector as there was no labour to harvest fruit-- mangosteen and rambutan in orchards, pineapple fields and to tap latex in rubber plantations.

She warned that the problem would expand to fisheries and the para wood (natural rubber tree) industries.

However, some Cambodian workers are returning to Pong Nam Ron and Soi Dao districts in adjacent Chanthaburi as they need wages to support their families.

Some Cambodians told their Thai employers that they would be back after preparing their documents to seek legal immigration into Thailand.

The Thai-Cambodian Border Trade & Tourism Association of Chanthaburi predicts that more Cambodian workers will return to Thailand wihin a few weeks because wages in Thailand are at least three times higher than those in Cambodia. (MCOT online news)
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