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42 die in fire at refugee camp in Thailand


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It seems that with the recent reforms in Burma, the refugees would now be better off back home than in these rustic and crowded camps.

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The problem is that most of these refugees are not of the proper "ethnicity" for the current regime to allow them back... Not dissimilar to the those who are persona-non-grata in UNHCR camps in eastern Nepal...

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There has been some reform in Burma, but it is far from complete. The Karens are an ethnic minority. Many of them are Christian. They are refugees because they are a minority and do not believe that their territory is part of Burma. They think of it as an independent state. As a result, they are not on good terms with the Burmese army with whom they still have skirmishes and by whom they are persecuted.

The ethnic minorities in this part of the world are treated as second-class citizens. It is sad that 42 have died, but I imagine they will not be rushing back to Burma as they must still feel safer where they are.

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