Angelina Jolie: Thailand should aid Rohingya refugees

AP: “Jolie asks Thailand to help Burmese refugees

Angelina Jolie has called on Thailand’s government to give more freedom to tens of thousands of Burmese refugees it has kept locked inside camps for up to 20 years.

The Academy Award-winning actress and goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Refugee Agency visited Thailand’s Ban Mai Nai Soi refugee center Wednesday.

“I was saddened to meet a 21-year-old woman who was born in a refugee camp, who has never even been out of the camp and is now raising her own child in a camp,” Jolie was quoted as saying by UNHCR in a statement released Thursday.

She asked Thai authorities to give around 110,000 refugees in northern Thailand greater freedom to move around and seek higher education, because they are unlikely to be welcomed back anytime soon to Myanmar, also known as Burma.

Bloomberg: “Angelina Jolie, UN Envoy, Asks Thailand to Aid Myanmar Refugees

Angelina Jolie, a United Nations goodwill ambassador, asked Thailand to accept Muslim migrants fleeing Myanmar’s military authorities during a visit to refugee camps on the Thai-Myanmar border.

Thailand is facing an international outcry over its treatment of the minority Muslim Rohingya group, after CNN published a photo showing armed forces towing refugee boats away from the shore on Jan. 26. Five of six boats towed in late December sank, killing several hundred people, CNN reported.

Jolie issued the plea during a visit yesterday to camps in northern Thailand that house 111,000 mostly ethnic Karen and Karenni refugees from Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

There’s also an accompanying article on the UN Web site.

Published by Newley

Hi. I'm Newley Purnell. I cover technology and business for The Wall Street Journal. I use this site to share my stories and often blog about the books I'm reading, tech trends, sports, travel, and our dog Ginger. For updates, get my weekly email newsletter.

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  1. Jolie ….. we as Thai people would like to do that but there are many reason… since our country are not yet peaceful like it used to be, therefore manything that are involved with refugee should be ignore.
    Or if you want to help them then please do so… sponsor them to US or Canada
    lastly i agree with “namizon” he/she is absolutely correct…
    Sorry for my English.

  2. Jolie shut up! She doesn’t know a thing about situation in the camp.
    All she knows is how to steal other people’s husband.

  3. I’m not sure that by typing the message here, it would get through to Ms Jolie or not. But it’s worth to try.

    From a perspective of “a” Thai resident on this matter ( I cannot honestly say ALL Thai people agrees with me, but most of which I encountered shared the same opinion I have), did you know that Thai has always supported refugees from all nations around Thailand? We have refugees’ camp for Burmese-Kayan, Hmong-Laotian, Cambodian, etc. We, Thailand, are just small developing country; although we have the heart, kindness and the willingness to help all those unfortunate people. We always try our best to support them, yet we still lack of many resources; space, money, manpower and jobs to support the refugees.

    You might wonder, since your interview has mentioned a girl who was born in the camp and never leave the place, and the application process for resettlement in the United States is taking such a long time. Well, that statement is partly true. From my point of view, Thai government has a priority to take care of Thai people first, call me selfish but that’s all the government in all countries do, isn’t it? Even American Government does. You might said it’s cruel and neglected that Thai Government doesn’t seem to try to help those refugees, when even America, the Third Country, offers to take some of them into the country.

    Let’s see, the war in Viet Nam and Laos, which government took the major part in? American? Can I say that American Troops is the reason all these refugees flee their countries into Thailand? I’m not playing the blame game here, but isn’t it the right thing American Government has to do? Clearing up their mess after what they did? Instead of having a permanent camp in Thailand, American should offer to take ALL people affected by the war to relocate to USA. The fact? US only takes educated-skilled labors; doctor, teacher, religion leader, etc. That’s why the resettlement process is taking so long. Americans only wants USEFUL refugees. Those who didn’t pass “the bar” get left behind and stuck in Thai camp, cannot return to the countries they fled, cannot go to America (and all those “third country” offer to take them only if their qualities matched their requirement). We did try to give them jobs and help them be more dependent, but you have to know that these people have no education, skilled or training. Once we trained or taught them to a certain level that they can work, the “third country” will take some of them. What do we have left? Those helpless women and child, completely rely on us to feed and raise them.

    So hear us, it’s not that we didn’t care, but we’ve already tried our best and we’re willing to continued doing that. Just one thing we ask for at the moment, in this situation. Please don’t push any more responsibility towards us; we’re not ready for it.