Burma Times Desk Report: May 22, 2015
Migrants in Thailand are passing their days in unease as a blast of anti Rohingya sentiment hit the social media.
As the government of Thailand discusses plans for setting temporary shelters for migrants washed ashore and rescued from jungle camps, many Thais responded with hatred towards the refugees.
Many say that the refugees will ignore Thailand’s hospitality and instead get involved in life of crime. Thais also pointed out that Muslims multiply faster than other people and soon there will be a population outburst.
A hash tag calling on the US government to stop poking their nose and instead help the Rohingyas themselves have gone wildly popular.
Thai government has used the outburst on social media as one of the reasons why it cannot be expected to host Rohingyas.
Many local activists expressed their disappointment and surprise at the xenophobia of ordinary Thais.
Some Thais in the southern part of the country, from where the migrants were rescued have however been sympathetic to their plight.
Thailand has long been the major transit point for desperate migrants trying to sneak into Malaysia. In the jungle camps of southern Thailand, migrants were tortured until their families agreed to pay ransom money. Many were killed or starved to death.
Thai authorities have traditionally been complicit in the crime.