NGO’s Told They Must Report To Authorities Before Aiding Refugees

Myanmar Refugees Thailand Border

According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) looking to provide aid supplies to refugees fleeing Myanmar near the border must first contact local authorities.

Activists and NGOs have reported that Thai authorities bar them from reaching the border with Myanmar, preventing them from providing assistance to Myanmar refugees.

Lt Gen Apichet Suesat, commander of the Third Army, earlier told the media that the restriction was enforced to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19.

Tanee Sangrat, spokesman for the Foreign Affairs Ministry, yesterday said those who want to send aid supplies to the border should contact local authorities.

“Regarding the reports of aid organisations being denied access to border checkpoints, all NGOs and aid agencies who wish to provide assistance to persons fleeing from the fighting in Myanmar can contact the Office of Mae Hong Son Province for information about when and where aid materials may be dropped off prior to reaching the border checkpoints,” Mr Sangrat said in a statement.

Photos of Karen students sitting for their final exam while taking refuge in a jungle went viral yesterday. The photos feature a group of students as their teacher watches on.

In addition, a Facebook user posted a photo of Buddhist monks and novices at Wat Fah Wiang Inn in Chiang Mai’s Wiang Haeng district digging holes in the ground on a mountain over fears triggered by reports about the Myanmar military using force against the Shan people there, according to a source.

The monks and novices were reportedly concerned about a possible attack involving the use of bombs and artillery shells near the temple due to its close proximity to the border.