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Thailand has adopted the standard used by European countries and Australia in their treatment of illegal migrants in the handling of Rohingya migrants, said Dr Panitharn Wattanayakorn, an advisor to Deputy Prime Minister in charge of security affairs.
Adopting the same standard means strict enforcement of the immigration law, he said, adding that the Rohingya migrants cannot be allowed into the country because they are illegal immigrants and must be pushed back.
But pushing back the Rohingya migrants has to be done within the framework of two principles: safety of the migrants at sea and humanitarian principle which means that the sick, elderly, women and children who cannot continue their journey will be given help and if there are victims of human trafficking, they will be sent to the third countries, Dr Panitharn explained.
He said that the Rohingya migration problem would be a test for ASEAN’s resolve as a community and if ASEAN do not take any actions to resolve the problem it will reflect badly on the community.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit made clear that the temporary shelter for the Rohingya migrants being mulled by the Thai government would not be a refugee camp or a detention camp.
He insisted that Thailand would adhere to the humanitarian principle in addressing the Rohingya problem under the condition that their presence in Thailand would not affect Thai people in the locality where the temporary shelter was to be built.