7 Refugees Died In Car Accident In Thailand
27 May 2010: At least 7 Chin refugees including a 2-year-old boy are confirmed ‘dead’ in a car accident near the Thai border while the vehicle en route to Malaysia carrying a total of 30 refugees from Burma was reportedly shot by the Thai Police on 24 May 2010.
One of the survivors was quoted as saying that the vehicle driver, a human-trafficking agent, ran away when he saw the Thai police on the way and that the police chased him straight away, adding: “We heard gunshots twice and didn’t know what happened to him afterwards.”
Khin Mya Win, who with staff members of Raks Thai Foundation went to Phetchabu and Cha Am Provinces to see the victims today, said: “We were told that 7, identified as males including a 5-year-old boy, died at Phetchaburi hospital and that their bodies would be released only when the family members come.”
We went on to the Cha Am Police Station and met some of the survivors, Kyin Mya Win continued.
The vehicle driver is said to have been released from the hospital according to the Thai Police and is likely to face human trafficking and smuggling charges.
Meanwhile in Malaysia, Daniel Thawng Tha Ceu, 22, yesterday fell to death from the construction building while he was working and a Chin refugee woman, from Matupi town of Southern Chin State, died at Ipoh hospital. Members of CRC (Chin Refugee Committee) were said to have taken her body for funeral service.
Yesterday, Malaysian RELA Corps conducted a ‘severe’ raid in Bukit Bintang and Jalan Imbi, cutting the metal bars apart and crushing the doors open where refugees, mostly Chins, live. Dozens of refugees were arrested but those holding UNHCR cards were known to have been released.
Ten of thousands of Chin refugees are currently stranded in Malaysia, Thailand and India after fleeing their native places in Burma away from the brutalities and abuses inflicted upon them by the long-standing military regime.
Van Biak Thang