With reports of corrupt Thai officials working with Burmese soldiers in human trafficking, drug distribution and murder it was not surprising to learn Thailand plans to send *3,000 Karen refugees back to Burma and ultimately their deaths. The operation will begin on Feb. 15 and though the repatriation is said to be “voluntary” there is no doubt physical coercion at the end of a gun barrel will be the final outcome.
The notion Internally Displaced People who’ve just escaped slavery, rape and butchery at the hands of drug addicted Democratic Karen Buddhist Army thugs would want to re-enter the killing fields of Northern Burma is ludicrous at best. Thai soldiers have taken on the role of DKBA aggressors by raping murdering refugees who did not have extortion money on many occasions. The death toll of innocent victims has increased tenfold by the hand of Thai authorities. Such was the case with **9 refugees including a Chinese National who were murdered in cold blood by Police Sen Sgt Maj Somchai Pinkaew and his crew from Phop Phra district police station. Their crime was not having extortion money to pay the corrupt Thai officials.
Though Senior Sargent Somchai Pinkaew committed suicide before he could face trial his murderous acts opened a can of worms as to the realities of Thai officials tainted with Burmese junta money. Many Thai’s were supporters of fugitive ex PM Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand who in turn was cronies with Gen. Than Shwe of Burma. Obviously the din of drug money and the profitability from human trafficking has become a cottage industry for Thai soldiers working along the border. With no regard for human life corrupt Thai authorities have targeted refugees for fun and profit. I still remember the little Karen school girl who was raped then dismembered deep in the Thai jungle whose perpetrators were identified as Thai soldiers. Again, she was not an isolated case as other victims were simple left to rot in the jungle and Thai soldiers were never found to face prosecution.
The trafficking of refuge babies still haunts my memories as DKBA and Thai soldiers would sell these infants to Thai restaurateurs. In turn these restaurateurs would take these babies and fatten them up. Whence they were plump the child would be placed in a vat filled with leeches. Then the leeches would drain the blood of the infant in a ghoulish feast. Later these juicy leeches would be fed to discerning western diners in one of many exotic restaurants in Bangkok and other tourist destinations within Thailand. The practice has not been stopped and babies continue to be trafficked by Thai and Burmese thugs. Of course western diners are oblivious to the nature of their cannibalistic cuisine.
Pat Pong Thailand, especially Pat Pong 1, teams with Burmese children who’ve been sold into prostitution according to survivors I’ve interviewed. The use of infants and pre pubescent children for sexual pleasure has provided another outlet for corrupt Thai officials who’ve sided with the DKBA. Eye witness accounts of wealthy Thai women who’ve taken 10 year old Burmese boys into sexual slavery stagger my sensibilities. Stories of dingy classrooms filled with kindergarten age children learning the fine art of oral copulation and other sexual talents paint a fetid picture of the level of depravity corrupt Thai officials imbibe in. Their callous disregard for human life only exemplifies their lacking in moral fortitude. So it makes me wonder if these Thai officials are trying to rid themselves of witnesses who could possibly identify them for crimes against children and humanity. For sending refugees back to Burma would truly be a death sentence.
Human trafficking of refugees has become common place do to it’s lucratively, ample supply and burgeoning market. Refugees fearful of reprisals by Thai authorities against family members still in centers along the border ask that their identities not be reveled. I can see the terror in their eyes. But there are plenty of written accounts throughout the mainstream press to substantiate these heinous claims and much more for I only skimmed the surface of Thailand’s dark secrets.
The sale of Burmese migrant fishermen to Thai captains who beat and murder their Burmese crewman is another national shame since these human beings are also trafficked by the DKBA and corrupt Thai officials along the border. Other horrific tales involving Burmese migrants who venture to Thailand are the stuff of horror films, provided they survive the border crossing and the drug crazed DBKA. So it is not surprising to learn the Thai government has begun a clamp down of sorts on the Burmese refugees. Reports of raids on ***Karen National Union enclaves and threatening journalists in Mae Sot Thailand has begun to trickle in from sources within the jungles of South Asia.
Thai officials have turned a blind eye on the plight of these impoverished people as gun barrel diplomacy replaces sanctuary in a land that once was considered a safe haven from Burma’s killing fields. The refugees were told the repatriation was voluntary but only a fool would return to their villages since the DKBA has riddled the place with land mines maiming men women and children alike. Yet the world looks on as Thailand prepares to send 3,000 refugees to their certain deaths. Has Thailand sided with tyranny and genocide? Only time will tell as the Feb. 15 deadline approaches. The jungle has many eyes and undoubtedly I will receive eye witness accounts of the atrocities committed by the Thai government whence the Karen’s Trail of Tears begins. The world is watching, Thailand, and so am I.
Your Devil’s Advocate