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Asean Affairs   20 June  2011

Myanmar produces refugees

By  David Swartzemtruber

AseanAffairs     20 June 2011

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In addition to producing uneasiness in the Asean community, Myanmar has gained another ignoble distinction. Myanmar the fifth world largest refugee producing country with 415,700 people fleeing from conflict at home, the United Nation refugee agency reported on Monday.

Out of the total number of refugees from Myanmar, there are an estimated 200,000 unregistered in Bangladesh, according to the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHRC)'s report on global trend of refugees 2010.

As of the end of 2010, Thailand is sheltering 96,675 refugees, mostly from Burma and the UN is discussing with Thai authorities a plan to verify about 540,000 stateless persons in the country, the UN report said.

UNHCR's 2010 Global Trends report showed that many of the world's poorest countries are hosting huge refugee populations, both in absolute terms and in relation to the size of their economies. The report underlines the impact that Myanmar has on neighboring countries, especially Thailand and the need for Myanmar to move farther along the road to democracy by helping its people rather than enslaving them.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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