Mr. Thalit Chalongwat, a spokesman for the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs told VOA that the fire at Huay Nam Khao temporary camp for the Hmong in Kao Kho District, Phetchabun province on May 23 2008 was set by the Hmong themselves to pressure Thai government to stop the repatriation process.
Mr. Thalit said that there will not be any change in the repatriation plan that both Thai and Lao government had agreed upon to send all of nearly 8,000 Hmong back to Laos by the end of 2008. He accused a small group of Hmong around 200 to 300 people who do not want to go back to Laos started a protest and when they realized that their protest was not working as planned they set the shelters on fire.
However, one of Hmong leaders at the camp denied the accusation and insisted that they are not responsible for the fire.
Listen to our Laos Today for details.