Friday, January 16, 2009

Burmese Schoolteacher and Family Repatriated

The Irrawaddy News

A Burmese schoolteacher in Ranong in southern Thailand was arrested by Burmese police in Kawthaung after he and his family were repatriated by Thai officials on January 11, according to sources at the Thai-Burmese border.

Ko Gyi, who had been living in Ranong since 1995, was reportedly sent back to Burma with his wife, daughter and son-in-law, and is currently being detained in a police station in the Burmese border town of Kawthaung.

Sources said Ko Gyi had become a target for Burma’s military authorities because of his supposed links with Burmese opposition groups, as well as allegedly providing information to exiled Burmese news organizations.

Ko Gyi has previously been interviewed by BBC Burmese Service and The Irrawaddy.

Thai authorities also raided his home and school in Ranong and seized some computers and his car.

Ko Gyi founded a primary school in Ranong with the help of Jesuit Refugee Service, an international Catholic organization that provides assistance to refugees, forcibly displaced persons and Burmese migrant workers.

Ko Gyi and his wife worked at the school, which has provided free education to the children of Burmese migrant workers since 2003.

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