Monthly Archives: July 2009

Dengue fever

According to a report by the Democratic Voice of Burma there is a dengue fever outbreak in Mae La camp. Although dengue is common in the area at this time of year in such confined quarters it highlights the need for more mozzie nets. Although the authorities  do their best to protect residents by rigorous spraying to kill mosquitos in and around the camp nets are still the best protection against the spread of such diseases.

Mosquito control at Mae La

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New refugees to be shifted to Mae La?

There is a full and detailed report on the Aiya Burma Fund site (which though I have not seen corroborated elsewhere sounds accurate) which says that the 3,000 new refugees will not be housed in a new camp in an abandoned school but moved to Mae La (They fled Burma during the recent surge by the Myanmar and their DKBA surrogate forces when these troops torched their villages.) Mae La was already the largest camp on Thailand’s border. Following an ambush on the Moei River (which forms the border) which killed a DKBA commander Colonel San Pyone they write:

Site of Eden Valley Academy, Tha Song Yang region - Photo: TBBC

Site of Eden Valley Academy, Tha Song Yang region - Photo: TBBC

Attacks on civilians are anticipated in retribution for the DKBA commander’s death.

Because of the precarious security at Ti Nu Koh agencies responsible for critical infrastructure, food and clothing had asked the Thai Army to post armed guards around the old school should it be used as a temporary camp.

Thai security forces said they were undermanned, could not ensure security and recommended another site be considered.

All parties agreed to move the dislocated people into the massive Mae La refugee camp.

Anyone who wants to return home may do so, but Thai authorities will ask them to sign a form saying they have rejected refuge in Thailand of their own accord and have not been forced to leave.

This is to counter recent allegations of soldiers forcing those fleeing back across the border and to prove Thailand is willing to offer safe haven in a time of need.

Please pray

The Irawaddy reports:

Burmese refugees at Mae La refugee camp are on alert due to a threat of attack by the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), according to the vice chairman of the camp.

“The DKBA said they will destroy our camp,” said Vice-Chairman Htun Htun, speaking to The Irrawaddy on Wednesday.

Many of the refugees have packed clothing and belongings in preparation for a military assault, sources in nearby Mae Sot said. Camp authorities have imposed a curfew of 9 p.m. On all refugee residents.

The DKBA threatened to attack Mae La camp after one of their influential commanders, San Pyote (aka Soe Myint), the head of Battalion 7, was ambushed and killed by an unknown armed group while traveling by longtail boat on the Moei River on June 26.