Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Burmese and Laos workers arrested in a Mall in Bangkok

(GRHE) -
Thai authorities raided Ban Kae Mall and arrested Burmese and Laos security guards.

The 49 workers, all from Burma and Laos, had been working at the shopping mall as security guards for many years. This is the first time that such a large number of people have been arrested at the mall. Most of the workers can speak and write Thai.

The police will send all the arrested people to court for illegally entering the country and for illegally working in Thailand. The police will also send an official letter to the company that hired the illegal workers.

As a result of the world economic crisis many foreign investment companies and factories closed down in 2008 and many Thai labors have made unemployed.

IT is normal for Thai police to arrest Burmese workers and ask them for money but now the world economic crisis has affected Burmese and other illegal migrant workers more, many more are being arrested.

According to a Burmese trader, the authorities sent a letter to all the factories and companies telling them to fire illegal workers from the beginning of 2009.

Meanwhile, for Burmese workers it is very difficult to go to the border to get a legal passport as a result of the Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) between the two governments of Thai and Myanmar.

Burmese workers are giving false names and ages to make it easier for them to get a job.

There are many reasons for the Burmese having difficulties in getting a passport on the border. Sometimes difficulties are related to Burmese politics and sometimes it is because the migrants were not registered for a national ID card in their hometown in Burma. They are also very afraid that the Thai police will arrest them at the border and they worry about accommodation and others expenses during the process of applying for a passport.

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