#BURMA #Ministry of #Foreign #Affairs #statement on #migrant #boat #crisis

Ministry of Foreign Affairs releases statement on migrant boat crisis
The MOFA stated that Myanmar shares the concerns of the international community over the refugees drifting at sea and will keep a close watch over the issue as it develops.

The statement attributed the crisis to illegal migration and human trafficking and said the prevention of illegal migration and human trafficking should be prevented by prohibiting travel within the country’s waters and deploying the Myanmar Navy and Air Force to patrol the waters in order to assist refugees if necessary.

The statement also said preventive measures are being deployed countrywide, especially by the Rakhine regional government and related entities, to prevent illegal migration and human trafficking in the region. Law and governance within the region is critical in ensuring the safety of each individual in the region, it said.

The MOFA also said Myanmar is ready to participate in humanitarian efforts with the international community to prevent illegal migration, human trafficking and other activities.MYANMAR-BURMA FLAG

India coast guard retrieving bodies of immigrants

The coast guard rescued 105 people on Saturday from the rickety wooden boat found drifting off the coast. Two more survivors were found Monday but none since, Sharma said by telephone.
Survivors told Indian authorities that more than 300 people from Bangladesh and Myanmar had jumped from the boat, which had been drifting for 13 days, and tried to swim to shore.
Sharma said they had no independent confirmation of the number of people aboard the boat, but the condition of the rescued survivors was grim.
The overloaded boat, about 65 to 80 feet (20 to 25 meters) long, had no covering to protect passengers from the harsh sun and had inadequate food and water, he said.
“They were dehydrated and some were unconscious,” Sharma said. “They were in a state of shock and trauma, both mental and physical.”
The boat’s mast was gone and it had no engine, he said. continue http://www.lcsun-news.com/ci_11342873

Thailand-Police checkpoints across North at New Year to prevent drug smuggling

CHIANG MAI, Dec 21 (TNA) – Police checkpoints have been set up across Thailand’s northern region to prevent drug trafficking from neighbouring countries to the country during the New Year festival.

Pol. Lt-Gen. Sataporn Duangkaew, commander of Provincial Police Region 5 which covers eight northern provinces, said that police personnel at checkpoints across the region would work closely with the military to strictly control drug trafficking and migrant worker smuggling into the kingdom.

The eight provinces are Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Lamphun, Lampang, Phayao, Phrae and Nan. Many share borders with Myanmar and Laos.

Gen. Sataporn said that millions pills of illegal drugs were reportedly being held along the borders waiting for being smuggled into the kingdom during the New Year period.

Police will especially monitor cars travelling the cross-border routes.

Meanwhile, the southern province of Surat Thani, famous for its resort island of Samui, has set up a centre to control land, air and water transport around the clock during the New Year period to reduce the number of accidents.

Boonsong Taychamaneesatid, Surat Thani deputy-governor, said that there will be 98 police checkpoints on roads and another 123 in communities in his province alone.

The Surat Thani deputy-governor added that the operation was aimed to prevent and reduce accidents during New Year period. Last year, 11 people died, while 101 were injured in 77 accidents. (TNA)