ລິ້ງ ສຳຫລັບເຂົ້າຫາ

Thai Officials Insist Hmongs in Huay Namkao Return to Laos


Thai Foreign Minister, Mr. Kasith Piromya, insists that Lao Hmong taking refuge at the Huay Namkhao temporary camp, Phetchaboun Province, in northeastern Thailand, have rights to apply for petitions to resettle in a third country, especially in the United States. However, they can apply for petitions to do so only through the agencies in Laos because the Thai government does not give foreign agencies authority to become involved with the issue of Lao-Hmong refugees in Thailand. Since 2004, about 8,000 Hmong refugees from Laos entered Thailand and take a refuge at Ban Huay Nam Khao in Phetchabun province. Many hoped of becoming accepted for resettlement in third countries like the more than 15,000 Hmong refugees who used to be at Wat Tham Krabok in Sarabury and resettled in the United States, where they reunited with relatives. But, since Thai authorities consider the new coming group of Lao-Hmongs as illegal immigrants, they cannot apply for their petitions in Thailand. Hence, together with Lao authorities, Thai officials have repatriated over 2,000 Hmong refugees to Laos since 2007. According to Mr. Kasit Piromya, these two neighboring countries' governments will continue to do so until they completely repatriate all remaining Hmong who numbered over 5,000 people in Huay Namkhao, to Laos by June this year.

Songrith Pongern reports in Lao from Bangkok on 28/01/2009

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