Thailand is committed to repatriating a further 40,000 Kampuchean refugees, while a similar number will, at least for the time being, remain in the country.
SVs: Kampuchean refugees crossing into Thailand (2 shots)
SV: Thai Troops directing refugees along road
GV; refugees sitting in camp ( 2 shots)
GV AND SV: Red Cross teams working in camp and ill and dying people in makeshift hospital (6 shots)
SV: mother and child PULL BACK TO refugees.
GV: lakeside village camp and CU of body.
GV: bodies and sick people lined up on platform
GV: refugees at waterside
GV: refugees walking out of jungle and along road
REPORTER: "The Kampuchean refugees were caught in the cross-fire of a war which has shattered their country. They abandoned their homes, walked through the Bunkut range, and have thrown themselves at the mercy of the authorities. Thousands have taken the same path, nine thousand to be precise, at the Kau Lon refugee camp in the south-east corner of Thailand, but their new home is a camp of despair, disease and death. Medical teams from the Thai Red Cross are working twelve hours a day tending jungle sores in a so-called hospital which is no more than an open-sided tent exposed to flies, mosquitoes and the summer monsoon. People are dying from dysentery, malaria and yet the Thai authorities have refused to allow United Nations representatives and officials from western countries into this camp. There is a shortage of food, drugs and man-power. The Thai policy is that after receiving emergency attention, these Kampuchean refugees will in all probability be sent back to their homeland. Western observers believe that unless the Thai authorities relent and allow medical aid from outside sources, disease could reach epidemic proportions and already there are reports of pubonic plague among refugees from Kampuchea. But anything, even the squalor of Kau Lon camp, seems to be welcomed to those escaping from the Kampuchean war. For the refugee population grows every day as more people emerge from the jungle. Behind them, the Bunkut mountain range hides the Kampuchean horror story from the outside world. Nigel Stark. ABC News."
REPORTER: NIGEL STARK
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Thailand is committed to repatriating a further 40,000 Kampuchean refugees, while a similar number will, at least for the time being, remain in the country. Most of the Kampucheans are living in squalid refugee camps along the Thai border.