Shooting Erupts With M-16s in Thailand Against Laos, Hmong Refugees
"Additionally, on October 7th and 8th, following the first brutal incident, some thirty (30) additional Thai Army Special Forces and MOI troops entered the camp and began intimidating and beating refugees," said Philip Smith of the CPPA in Washington, D.C. "A number of the refugees were abused and their jewelry and personal items of value were taken from them by the Thai Army soldier and MOI troops."
(Media-Newswire.com) - Oct 15, 2009 – Bangkok and Ban Huay Nam Khao, Thailand and Washington, D.C. - Main-force elements of the Royal Thai Third ( 3rd ) Army, backed by renegade Ministry of Interior ( MOI ) troops, have again opened fire with American-supplied M-16 machine guns on Lao Hmong political refugees and asylum seekers at a refugee camp at Ban Huay Khao, Petchabun Province, Thailand in an effort to again intimidate them and force them back to the communist regime in Laos that they fled from persecution.
The Lao Peoples Democratic Republic ( LPDR ) is a one-party, authoritarian regime is a close ally of the military junta's in Burma and Communist North Korea. The LPDR regime continues to persecute and kill religious and political dissidents, including imprisoned Lao student leaders and their families from the October 26, 1999, Lao Students Movement for Democracy as well as dissident Christian, Buddhist and Animist believers. Some ethnic minorities in Laos, including the ethnic Hmong, have been also targeted for oppression, abuse, mass starvation, military attacks and ethnic cleansing, especially those who seek to live outside of LPDR government control.
“Now, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and General Anupong Paojinda have, ironically, ordered the use of U.S. taxpayer-supplied M-16 assault weapons, and thousands of rounds of M-16 ammunition, to be used in the hands of elements of the Royal Thai Third Army and Ministry of Interior troops against some 6,000 innocent Lao Hmong political refugees seeking asylum in Thailand,” said Philip Smith, of the Center for Public Policy Analysis ( CPPA ) in Washington, D.C.
Thousands of Laotian and Hmong refugees now seeking political asylum in Thailand were allies of the United States and Royal Thai Government during the Vietnam War and its aftermath. His Majesty, the King of Thailand, has been a staunch advocate in support of granting political asylum to Lao Hmong refugees in Thailand and fostering their resettlement in third countries like the United States, Australia, France, Canada, New Zealand and elsewhere that have agreed to host them. http://www.media-newswire.com/release_1098681.html
"Indeed, many of the Lao Hmong veterans at Huay Nam Khao and Nong Khai are veterans of the Vietnam War in Laos, or are families or descendants of veterans," said Colonel Wangyee Vang, National President of the Lao Veterans of America Institute in California. "These Lao Hmong veterans should be granted political asylum in Thailand; we appeal to the Royal Thai government and military to allow the door to be opened for these refugees so that they can be resettled in France, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States."
“On October 6, 2009, about 7:00 PM ( Bangkok Time ), Commander Boua Thid, a Thai military commander lead eleven soldiers to covertly enter into the Lao Hmong refugee camp in Huay Nam Khao to seek to conduct the arrest, abduction and forced repatriation of a Lao Hmong man by the name of Nao Soua Vue,” said Vaughn Vang of the Lao Hmong Human Rights Council ( LHHRC ) in Green Bay, Wisconsin. "On October 7-8th, some 30 more Thai Army troops and MOI troops enter the camp and threatened and beat the refugees, and stole from them many of their personal possessions,including their jewelry; they fired their machine guns again over their heads or pointed them at the refugees heads."
Mr. Vaughn Vang continued “The Thai soldiers were very hostile toward Mr. Nao Soua Vue, threatening him and other Laotian and Hmong refugees in the camp, These Thai soldiers opened fire and all Thai soldier who were encircling and surrounding many of the Hmong refugees in the camp also open fire at about 15-20 feet above these refugees houses..."
Mr. Vang further stated: “We have multiple, credible reports that last night ( October 6, 2009, Bangkok Time ), thousands of Lao Hmong refugees in the camp in Ban Huay Nam Khao were very terrified by this attack by the Thai military and Ministry of Interior troops;, the refugees all stood up all night and cannot sleep, because they said it is unknown what is going to happen to their life in the night, and they are afraid that some of their fellow refugees may have been killed or wounded by the attack in the refugee camp.”
“Over and over again,redundant and multiple credible sources on the ground in Thailand have confirmed that a heavily armed elite unit of some eleven Royal Thai Third Army soldiers and Ministry of Interior ( MOI ) troops were apparently ordered by General Anupong Paojinda, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and Interior Minister Chaoyarat Canvirakul to deploy to the Lao Hmong refugee camp at Ban Huay Nam Khao for the purpose of targeting specific Lao Hmong camp and clan leaders for abduction and forcible return to Laos,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Washington, D.C.-based CPPA.
"Additionally, on October 7th and 8th, following the first incident, some thirty ( 30 ) additional Thai Army Special Forces and MOI troops entered the camp and began intimidating and beating refugees," said Smith "A number of the refugees were abused and their jewelry and personal items of value were taken from them by the Thai Army soldier and MOI troops, including gold jewelry and silver jewelry."
Smith continued: “Strangely, in clear violation of international law and the repeated appeals by Members of the U.S. Congress to His Majesty the King of Thailand, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and General Anupong Paojinda are still trying to outdo each other to force the Lao Hmong refugees back to the Stalinist regime in Laos, where the refugees clearly do not want to return, after escaping mass starvation, military attacks by the Lao Peoples Army and systemic religious and political persecution.” http://www.pr-inside.com/plot-by-thailand-s-gen-anupong-general-r1499354.htm
“The Laotian and Hmong camp and clan leaders in Thailand specifically targeted for abduction and forced repatriation by the special Thai military unit to Laos include Mr. Nao Soua Vue and others,” Smith said. “To his dismay, Mr. Vue had several U.S.-made and supplied M-16 assault rifles pointed directly into his face by the special Thai military unit, and at the heads of his terrified wives and crying children, at the apparent direct orders of Prime Minister Abhisit and General Anupong.”
“Now, as of the first part of October, this month, Thai Army General Anupong and Prime Minister Thaksin. in cooperation with Royal Thai Ministry of Interior Minister Chaoyarat Canvirakul, have also ordered four more trucks of Royal Thai troops and MOI security forces to the Laos Hmong refugee’s camp in Huaj Nam Khao in an effort to prepare for the mass forced repatriation of Lao Hmong political refugees back to the repressive Stalinist regime in Laos where the refugees fled political and religious persecution,” Smith said further.
Mr. Philip Smith continued: “Today, the horrified and terror-stricken Lao Hmong refugees’ huts and houses were randomly strafed with bullets, and bursts of gun fire, by apparently amused and threatening Thai soldiers; for several hours, the American supplied weapons were fired at the Lao Hmong refugees into the twighlight and night with gunfire eventually illuminating the night sky over the camp; this in an effort to seek to force more Lao Hmong refugees back to the authoritarian, military junta in Laos where they fled horrific religious and political persecution.”
“Indeed, hundreds of new Thai military forces have been covertly moved into position in apparent preparations for a mass forced repatriation of the Lao Hmong political refugees at Ban Huay Nam Khao and Nong Khai, Thailand,” Smith observed.
“Today, sadly, many in Washington, D.C., the United States and the international community are deeply shocked and disappointed that following the official visit of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to New York and the Pittsburgh Summit in the United States, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit and General Anupong are using American.-provided M-16 automatic assault rifles and machine guns, American-made guns and ammunition, against defenseless Laos Hmong refugees,” Smith continued in his observations.
Laos and Hmong scholars, human rights and refugee advocates have repeatedly raised the issue of the plight of the Lao Hmong refugees at Ban Huay Nam Khao and Nong Khai, Thailand. Humanitarian efforts on behalf of the Laos Hmong refugees in Washington, D.C. have been spearheaded by Nobel Peace Prize nominee and author, Dr. Jane Hamilton-Merritt, as well as B. Jenkins Middleton, Esq., Former Vice President of the Export-Import Bank. U.S. Ambassador H. Eugene Douglas, Edmund McWilliams, Michael Benge and other retired Members of the U.S. Foreign Service, along with a bipartisan coalition in the U.S. Congress, have likewise voiced concern about the current Thai forced repatriation policy and urged international humanitarian support for the Lao Hmong refugees in Thailand and Laos.
The Center for Public Policy AnalAnalysis ( CPPA ) is a Washington,D.C.-based non-profit research organization and think-tank focused on foreign, national security, immigration and human rights policy issues.
This story was released on 2009-10-15. Please make sure to visit the official company or organization web site to learn more about the original release date. See our disclaimer for additional information.