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Thai Scouts reach out to Rohingya refugees

18th Feb 2013

Being a good friend to all regardless of origin and belief, Scouts in Thailand are taking care of their Muslim brothers and sisters from Arakan, Myanmar who fled their country due to the unrest that started since last year.

As a joint project between Messengers of Peace project and the Thai Scouts Promotion Foundation, in close cooperation with other concerned communities and agencies, Scouts have mobilized to collect food and supplies for this distribution to the Rohingya Muslims numbering around 3,000. They illegally entered Thailand and are now detained in different centers across the country. To facilitate easy communication with them, Thai Scouts consult the Thai-Rohingya dictionary since most of them cannot understand English or Thai.

Aside from distributing food and supplies, Thai Rover Scouts from technical colleges helped in repairing toilets and rebuilding facilities to provide a more comfortable living condition for the detainees. Others who are partnering with Scouts are non-Scout Buddhists and Christians. Without religious discrimination and realizing the great risk of becoming an illegal immigrant, this collaboration is to make a peaceful solution.

Being illegal immigrants, Rohinga Muslims can only stay at the detention centers not over six months. Illegal immigrants from Myanmar usually board small wooden boats from Arakan state, sailing across the Indian Ocean for 16 to 25 days in their attempts to enter Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

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