Fire sweeps Tak refugee camp

TAK - A ferocious blaze on Friday swept through part of the Mae La camp for Karen refugees in Tha Song Yang district of Tak province, injuring one man.

District chief Somchai Traithipchartsakul said that 93 shelters in zone C had been razed and 595 Karen refugees living there had been affected.

Mr Somchai said camp and district officials worked quickly to contain the fire and keep it from spreading to other zones.

Only one person suffered burns but was not seriously injured. The man was sent to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.

Mr Somchai said soldiers from the Third Region Army, Tha Song Yang district officials, the Tak Red Cross and NGO officials had distributed necessities including food, water, clothes, blankets and medicines to the affected refugees.

Construction of new shelters would begin within the next two days, he added.

The affected refugees are now staying with their relatives inside the same camp.

Mae La is the largest of the nine refugee camps along the Thai-Myanmar border, which altogether house around 150,000 refugees. It is home to 53,000 people, 90% of them Karen, some of whom have lived at the camp for 30 years.

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Discussion 1 : 28/12/2013 at 07:43 PM
At times like this it's important to note that every other news story these days is about the "new" Burma -- a supposedly democratic state -- ready to enter the 21st century. And yet in the South, the Rohyinga flee killings and persecution and arrive on Thai soil by the thousands. And in the north there are 140,000 Karen who fled ethnic cleansing, systematic rape, torture and murder. Does anyone hold the "new" Burma to account for the continuing atrocity and exile of hundreds of thousands of its persecuted people? No. Because the reality is that Burma is the same as it ever was... Except now there's money on the table for Thai business.

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