Situation Update Regarding the Repatriation of Ler Ber Her Refugees-Thailand

February 5, 2010.

Karen Refugee Leave Thai-Burma
Border Refugee Camp For Resettlement in Third Country
Photo-Freedom News Group

• Between 1:00 AM and 2:00 AM, Thai rangers (Hta Han Phan) and militiamen (Au Sau) guarding Noh Boe (Ler Ber Her) Camp left. They also lowered the Thai national flag and took it away with them.

• The Thai rangers (Hta Han Phan) and militiamen (Au Sau) had not returned at the appointed time, 7:00 AM, for the repatriation of 30 refugee families to the old Ler Ber Her IDP Camp.

• Between 8:00 AM and 9:00 AM, the Thai rangers (Hta Han Phan) and militiamen (Au Sau) in civilian clothes came back to the camp and asked whether there was anyone who would go back to the old Ler Ber Her Camp.

• KRC chairperson Thra Robert Htway came to Mae Sarit to meet with officer Wanna Mu of the Thai Task Force (Chaw Khaw) with regard to the repatriation of Ler Ber Her refugees.

• Plain-clothes Thai rangers (Hta Han Phan) were stationed, for security, along the motor road through which the refugees would be repatriated, and questioned people travelling there.

• Around 9:30 AM, 3 refugee families were transported to the Ler Ber Her dock with the trucks of Noh Boe Thai villagers. Next, they were transported to the old Ler Ber Her Camp with a motor boat at the dock. Those who were repatriated included 4 women, 1 male adolescent and 8 children under the age of 10, 13 people in total, from the family of Saw Thoo Ka Dee, Khaung Laung Thu, and Mu Tet Let. There were no men among those who were repatriated as they were left on the Thai side.

• A company commander from DKBA Battalion (7) was waiting for the arrival of the refugees at the old Ler Ber Her Camp.

• Some UN officials arrived at Ler Ber Her (Noh Boe) refugee camp. Thai rangers (Hta Han Phan) ordered their men not to carry on with the planned repatriation of the refugees in the presence of the UN officials.

• The refugees informed the UN officials that they do not dare to go back to the old Ler Ber Her Camp.

• The refugees wanted to come back as soon as they got the other side of the Moei River. So, the DKBA said to a woman in Ler Ber Her camp through the phone that “if you want to come back, you can. We won’t like it if you will go back (to the Thai side) after coming back here. You can’t do it like that.”

• The refugees had meeting with the UN officials.

• At 12:00 PM, Thai government officials from Bangkok arrived at Ler Ber Her Camp and questioned the refugees about the situation.
P.S. Accusing Thra Gypsy of communicating with the UN, plain-clothes Thai rangers (Hta Han Phan) confiscated his mobile phone.

source Thawthiko