Rosalynn Carter--the wife of the President of the United States-has visited a Kampuchean refugee camp near the eastern Thai town of Sa Kaeo -- and found the experience emotionally overwhelming.
Rosalynn Carter--the wife of the President of the United States-has visited a Kampuchean refugee camp near the eastern Thai town of Sa Kaeo -- and found the experience emotionally overwhelming. Mrs. Carter arrived in Thailand on Thursday (8 November) for a forty-hour visit, at her husband's request, and is visiting camps for Laotian, Kampuchean and Vietnamese refugees who have fled into Thailand.
SYNOPSIS: Mrs. Carter's first destination was a newly created site for thirty thousand Kampuchean refugees at Sa Kaeo, about thirty five miles (60 kilometres) from the border.
The Thai government welcomed the unexpected visit from Mrs. Carter as a chance to dramatise the tragedy of the refugees.
These refugees are fleeing the fighting in Kampuchea between the Phnom Penh government forces and Khmer Rouge guerrillas, loyal to ousted Premier Pol Pot. The rest of the two hundred thousand -- being given shelter by Thailand -- have fled from neighbouring Laos and Vietnam.
The death rate in this camp from malnutrition, malaria, dysentery and the ravages of war, is running at about twenty-five a day, according to officials. Four hundred have died since the camp opened on October the 24th.