Thailand says it does not push back refugees from Myanmar

BANGKOK (REUTERS) – Thailand has no policy of turning away refugees fleeing conflict from Myanmar and accepts refugees on a humanitarian basis, a senior official said on Tuesday (March 30).

There can be a discussion between officials and refugees and sometimes when the situation eases they will return voluntarily, said Tanee Sangrat, spokesman for Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Activists on Monday accused Thailand of pushing would-be refugees back into Myanmar.

More than a dozen people fleeing Myanmar were allowed to cross into Thailand on Tuesday to receive medical treatment at a border village, Reuters witnesses said.

A health official in Mae Sam Laep village said the people who arrived by boat across the river marking the border were ethnic Karen who opposed Myanmar’s military coup in February.

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