BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Myanmar will send officials to Thailand to help investigate whether 2,000 Rohingya migrants now being sheltered in Thailand really travelled from Rakhine state, Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said on Wednesday.
Myanmar was unconvinced that all had travelled from Rakhine and believed some of them might travel from Bangladesh’s border area to Myanmar, the minister said.
Myanmar refuses to recognise most Rohingya as Myanmar citizens.
Mr Surapong said Myanmar Foreign Minister Wanna Maung Lawin told him that Myanmar was ready to bring the Rohingya in Thailand back to Rakhine if the investigation found these people had really migrated from Myanmar.
“The Myanmar foreign minister told me that he would convey my concern to Myanmar President Thein Sein and after that he would send his officials to Thailand to probe the migration of about 2,000 Rohingya, about 500 of them children and women, as quickly as possible,” he said.
The two met ahead of the Asean foreign minister meeting, which begins on Thursday in Brunei’s capital.
Mr Surapong said he also asked Myanmar to help bring back refugees along the Thai-Myanmar border as he had information that some of them wanted to return to their motherland but they were still concerned over their livelihood.
Mr Surapong raised the concern after the inferno that killed 38 Karen refugees at Ban Mae Surin camp in Mae Hong Son’s Khun Yuam district on March 24.