In Thailand, the voluntary repatriation of Kampuchean refugees was delayed for a day because of what was described as "technical reasons".
GV EXTERIOR Refugees at check out at Sa Keo camp in Thailand.
SV Woman entering bus.
SV PAN ALONG Bus.
SV INTERIOR Bus, soldier check passengers.
CU Family reunification badge.
GV Bus drives off.
GV PAN Khao-I-Dang refugee camp in Thailand.
SV Refugees was and carry water in camp. (3 SHOTS)
SV Woman tending vegetable garden.
SV Woman grinding beans and sifting grain. (3 SHOTS)
SV ZOOM TO CU Man playing musical instrument.
GV 007 Camp in Thailand being dismantled.
SV Refugees carrying building materials.
SV TILT DOWN Children playing around ruined stone pagoda.
SV Refugees walking down road to Kampuchea with belongings. (2 SHOTS)
GV Refugees gathered at Sa Keo camp to watch dancing. (2 SHOTS)
SV Traditional women dancers.
GV ZOOM TO SV Crowd watching dancing.
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Background: In Thailand, the voluntary repatriation of Kampuchean refugees was delayed for a day because of what was described as "technical reasons". The controversial programme was due to start on Monday (16 June), but Thailand's Foreign Minister, Siddhi Savetsila, announced that the start had been put back for 24 hours. The postponement was ordered by the United nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Bangkok. The announcement came after some refugees has been preparing for days to return to their ravaged homeland.
SYNOPSIS: Many of them have already been checked out at Sa Keo, on of the largest camps in Thailand. It is estimated that 200,000 Kampucheans fled to escape famine and fighting between Khmer Rouge guerrillas and Vietnamese-led forces, Now many are about to return home in a scheme which has been criticised by the Vietnamesed-backed Government in Phnom Penh, where it is regarded as a plot to build up Khmer Rouge resistance. But the Thai authorities insist the refugees are returning of their own free will. And relief agency officials are playing a crucial part in the operation to ensure there is no pressure on the Kampucheans.
Thousands of refugees have been identified and are about to be reunited with their families at transit camps in Eastern Thailand before crossing back to Kampuchea.
The official repatriation will begin from a large camp at Khao-I-Dang, about eight miles (12 kms) from the border. There are about 150,000 refugees gathered there. Some have been at the camp for several months, and it has taken on the appearance of a permanent settlement.
There is now no shortage of food, some small crops have even been cultivated in Khao-I-Dang. But relief officials fear there could be a shortage of supplies reaching the refugees once they return. They believe the Phnom Penh Government may retaliate over the repatriation by refusing to allow the western aid distribution networks to expand within Kampuchea. The repatriation has reinforced Vietnam's suspicions of the motives behind western aid.
But the Thai authorities are going ahead with plans to dismantle many of the refugee camps. One of them, known as 007, has been evacuated, its occupants taking housing material for shelter during the journey home. Those people who have already left for Kampuchea have been accused by the Vietnamese Government of being Khmer rouge reinforcements.
The authorities in Phnom Penh say guerillas have infiltrated in to camps like Sa Keo, where they have been preparing for a wet-season offensive against the Vietnamese-backed forces. But for most of the refugees at Sa Kao the war has brought misery, with only occasional entertainment helping to relieve the boredom and frustration of camp life.
Even when repatriation finally gets underway, relief officials think as few as 4,000 Kampucheans will return.