Myanmar to uphold int’l responsibility on boat people: gov’t

U Htin Linn, acting director general of the International Organizations and Economic Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
U Htin Linn, acting director general of the International Organizations and Economic Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Myanmar will fulfil its responsibility as a member of the international community and continue searching for boat people on humanitarian groups, despite the issue posing challenges to the country, said U Htin Linn, acting director general of the International Organizations and Economic Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
U Htin Linn said in a recent interview with SkyNet TV, “Boat people are not refugees. They tried to migrate for the better life by their own consent, or enticement of human trafficking groups.”
During a regional conference in Bangkok on 29 May to address the issue of boat people in Southeast Asia, Myanmar rejected the UNHCR’s accusation that discrimination and oppression in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine were causes of the boat people crisis.
The meeting was attended by representatives of 17 countries and officials from international organizations such as the UN refugee agency and the International Organization for Migration.
Myanmar delegates made suggestions at the conference about law enforcement to combat human trafficking rings and the role of the media in sharing information and spreading the message about serious punishment for human trafficking.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop at a separate international conference said Indonesian officials told her most of the 7,000 people stranded in Southeaast Asia boat crisis are illegal labourers, not refugees.
The acting director general also said Myanmar will give shelter to these boat people for only a limited period of time.
Rakhine State officials and the Bangladeshi Consulate in Sittwe visited the shelters of boat people in Taungpyoletwei, in Maungtaw district to oversee the nationality scrutinizing process and to provide them with aid.

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