Thai Immigration Plans Burmese Concert Fundraiser in Mahachai

Wed 09 Sep 2009, IMNA, Mon Jit
According to an inside source, the Thai immigration office in Samut Sakhon, with the cooperation of a number of Burmese brokers , plans to host a Burmese concert for fundraising purposes in the town of Maharchai.

“They decided to host a Burmese concert because they want to remodel and improve the Thai immigration office”, this source claims.

The Mahachai immigration office plans to make T-shirts decorated with Burmese statements and the names of popular Burmese singers, and hopes to sell them to migrant’s workers in Mahachai for 150 baht, states Nai Mon, a worker in Mahachai.

According to Nai Mon, the immigration office plans to peddle the shirts in locales with a high density of migrant workers, such as the factories where they are employed, and the migrant settlement in which they reside.

Unfortunately, the motives of the Samut Sakhon office seem less than pure. “In the past, they also tried to raise funds for remodeling, but I think they just want the money for themselves. Thailand is a democratic country, it can provide the funds for any remodeling. The immigration officials will just use the money from the concert to line their own pockets”, states a field officer at the Labor Rights Promotion Network (LRPN) in Mahachai.

The concert will start on September 26th , and will last until the night of September 27th at Wat Kok temple in Mahachai. The posters published claim the attendance of many well know Burmese singers: Rzarni, Jenny, Htun Htun, Naw Naw, Rebacca and Han Htun. Tickets will sell for 350 baht – a sum out of reach for the migrant workers that the concert is supposed to benefit.

The field officer at the LRPN points to an incident three years ago, when the Thai immigration office in Maharchai cooperated with Burmese brokers to host a Mon Opera. The event has been criticized due to claims that few of the funds raised were used to aid Mahachai’s migrant worker population.

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