When Social Development and Human Security Minister Pavena Hongsakul visited Rohingya boat people at the immigration detention centre in Phangnga last month, she was appalled by their poor living conditions.
To squeeze more than 200 people in a very small space is inhumane, she said. Since it is the same situation for hundreds of Rohingya boat people at police stations in other provinces, she proposed giving these asylum seekers a more decent temporary shelter by making use of old refugee camps.
Her proposal has been met with silence from the army, the police, provincial and immigration authorities. Given the locals' resistance due to lack of local consultation, it seems the refugee camp idea is over.
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