Myanmar has signalled it will not take part in Thailand’s plans to host a conference on the crisis of Rohingya boat people.
“We are unlikely to attend… we do not accept it if they [Thailand] are inviting us just to ease the pressure they are facing,” Myanmar’s presidential office director Zaw Htay told the AFP news agency.
Myanmar, the Rohingya’s homeland, believes the Thai conference is a ploy to cover up problems with people-smuggling syndicates in Thailand.
“The root cause [of the crisis] is increasing human trafficking. The problem of the migrant graves is not a Myanmar problem, it’s because of the weakness of human-trafficking prevention and the rule of law in Thailand,” he added.
Related news:NGOs criticise APAC reaction to Rohingya crisis
Thai authorities have found at least 30 migrant graves around the Thailand-Myanmar border.
Bangkok, meanwhile, has invited 17 countries in the region to a meeting on the problem of illegal Rohingya immigrants on 29 May and said via NNT, the national news agency, that they expect all 17 to attend.
There is growing awareness of the scale and complexity of the problem that will impact the region.
Figures from the UN High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) estimates 25,000 people have fled Myanmar on boats in the first quarter of this year.
“Irregular maritime movements from the Bay of Bengal have been going on for years, but only came under scrutiny recently,” UNHCR spokesman Vivian Tan told IHS Maritime.
An estimated 8,000 people are fleeing on 25 vessels, and there are widely divergent views as to why the Rohingya are fleeing.