Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday, August 09, 2013
6
THAI ISLAND IN CONTROL OF GANGSTERS -CLAIMS C4

AUTHORITIES TURN BLIND EYE TO 'EXTORTION OR SLAVERY'

A shocking British Television Channel 4 documentary about the kidnapping, enslavery and extortion of Rohingya refugees disappeared from the net for a short period today so programme executives could conceal the identity of a man who may be placed in danger.

But it was easy to be forgiven for thinking that the Thai Government had blocked 'Nightmare Island' an investigation by John Sparks's, C4's Bureau Chief in Bangkok, which was a damning indictment on the goings on in Tarutao in southern Thailand.

Sparks nevertheless I feel will remember this particular investigation for a long time.  "It was eerie," he said.

I cannot recommend his report highly enough. Its about a state within a state, where its alleged  police are paid to stay away and thus profit from the trade in humanity. and where scant regard is given to human life.

John Sparks follows the trail from beginning to end. It puts a big dent in the 'we are a gentle people' line trawled out frequently by state agencies in the region.

The Rohingya problem is today's Burma's (Myanmar's) shame and to a certain extent also the world's. People are not exactly taking to the streets in the west to protest.

The Rohingya are regarded as Muslim, which they are, and  'dirty brown' by bigots who are ordinary everyday Buddhist Burmese who just do not want to live next door to one; the Alf Garnets of 21 Century ASEAN?

Aung San Suu Kyi is not campaigning on their behalf. Cynics say its because would be political suicide.

The report claimed that private prisons had been set up on the island and even government officials were told by their bosses to stay away. "Its the stuff of nightmares" reported Sparks.

His internet report begins:


"It seems like a lot of people in Thailand are frightened of Tarutao Island, writes Channel 4 News Asia Correspondent John Sparks.

When we asked locals whether they would take us there by boat, they were quick to say no – and that seemed very odd indeed.

It was strange, because Tarutao Island is an absolutely spectacular Thai national park.

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"Surely," I said, "you know what is going on". Their response surprised us. For the first time in the park’s history, one ranger told me, the southern half of the island had been made out-of-bounds both to the public and park staff. The director of the national park had even closed down two ranger stations located on the southern shore I was told.
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Situated 30km from the mainland in the sparkly blue waters of the Andaman Sea, the mountains of Tarutao dominate the surrounding area. It is cloaked in a rich layer of jungle and its beaches are white and hotel-free. 

It’s the sort of isolated spot that many people dream of spending time on.
Except Tarutao Island is also the stuff of nightmares. It took us weeks to find out why people were so frightened, but in the end it made perfect sense.

Local people and senior police officers, speaking off the record, told us the southern section of this beautiful island is gangster territory – the hood of human traffickers, who run a number of secret prisons from the jungle floor.

It is here that desperate migrants from neighbouring Burma are incarcerated, beaten and extorted – and risk being sold as slave labour to fishing fleets.




Rohingya exodus
Video and more at this link

Pick of the Day: Tony Blair and Koffi Annan 'unofficially' accept invitation to help with Thai reconciliation.
So if they have accepted unofficially why announce it? And would these 'statesmen' really accept the Thai buck? More to the point - how will the British react to Tony Blair's 'acceptance' .  Follow this one.

6 comments:

  1. Rafeeq (a Rohingya):"They lined us up and gave us a mobile phone - we were told to call our relatives. They demand the money and beat us up. They beat us continually until they got the cash."

    Personally - I'm not sure I can really comprehend the sheer terror and fear this man endured during that time.

    And I wonder which particular Thai mobile phone operator is benefiting from all these nightmare calls?

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  2. I saw this yesterday...there was some staged shutdown of one illegal prison on the back of the report but seems there's no real domestic interest or concern at this example of modern day slavery....even The Nation doesn't seem or want to get the horror of what's happening..

    http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Rohingya-refugees-attempt-escape-30212241.html

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  3. What is the British Embassy's position in Bangkok on the Rohingya's status within Burma and if so what are their human rights?

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    Replies
    1. British Government position is to enter positive dialogue with Myanmar - for trade reasons - I believe.

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    2. Britain once ruled Burma, India and West and East Pakistan. It was Britain that made the country boundaries. Based on what? A river? A Straight Line? A Mountain Range.? Certainly not a culture? It was Britain under the Last Viceroy, Lord Louis Mountbatten who partitioned India and West and East Pakistan resulting in a civil war years later between East and West Pakistan that were separated much further than John 0 Groats to Lands End. Millions died under this travesty of apportioning and subsequent civil war and look at eg Kashmir to date. Thousands if not millions lost everything. And now William and Kate include Louis to their new born child’s name?
      What about the Royhingya? Just simply consigned to history to be exterminated? I say shame on Britain. I say shame on the now Bangladesh and Burma and Aung Sang Suu Kyi and the European Union and the UN, and if the C4 documentary is true shame on Thailand. Who speaks for the Royhingya??
      Can the British Ambassador in Bangkok, Can the Foreign Secretary in the UK , Can the Prime Minister of the UK state. Who speaks for the Royhingya before they are exterminated ? Can the British Ambassador stop supporting lost causes such as Arsenal, Can the Foreign Secretary stop mouthing "stupid woman" when a woman speaks in the UK parliament and can the PM stop the campaign to stop, detain and question non white people at tube stations as to their immigration status particularly if they are Rohingya and just trying to stay alive. Can someone not do something PLEASE?

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  4. When I saw the headline 'An Island Run By Gangsters' I thought the story was about Phuket.
    http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/363892/dsi-launches-major-crackdown-in-phuket

    The list includes the Mayor of Patong and his son!

    Mind boggling they know the culprits and name them but no arrests.

    What about the nominees for Noyes and Goldie etc?

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