Thailand's Foreign Minister, Mr. Upadit Pachariyangkun, says his country should not have to carry the?
Thailand's Foreign Minister, Mr. Upadit Pachariyangkun, says his country should not have to carry the burden or harbouring Indochinese refugees alone. He says the refugees are an international issue deserving greater attention from all countries. Meanwhile the Australian opposition leader, Mr. Bill Hayden, on a tour of Asian countries has visited refugee camps in Thailand and he says Australia should take the initiative by seeking an international conference for the relief of the refugees.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Hyden and his party visited the Si Kiu refugee camp, 200 kilometres (120 miles) north east of Bangkok, last week (3 July). By the end of the visit, they had received more than 300 applications for resettlement in Australia. Si Kiu camp houses 1500 refugees from Vietnam and Laos.
Altogether, Thailand has more than 110,000 Indochinese refugees now living in 15 centres scattered throughout the country. Residents of Si Kiu live in cramped conditions and are banned from leaving the camp. Mr. Hayden says Australia should take more than 9,000 refugees from South East Asian camps this year.