Top Thai officials involved in Rohingya trafficking: Walker
By Press TV
December 8, 2013
Press TV has conducted an interview with Christopher Walker, political commentator, London about Rohingyas persecution in Myanmar and accusations that Thai officials sell the Rohingya to human traffickers.
The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.
Press TV: If this story (of Thai officials selling Rohingya Muslim refugees to human trafficking rings) turns out to be true, what do you think reactions would be?
Walker: Well, I don’t think there’s much doubt it will turn out to be true. It’s been thoroughly investigated by numerous different people.
I think the first reaction will be particular anger against Thailand at a time when the Thai government is under great pressure from demonstrations in the street that we’ve all seen on our television screens.
Also it’s going to really rather blacken the reputation of the supposedly newly-democratic regime in Myanmar, which is obviously accused of driving out these Muslims - the minority there by bad treatment.
Press TV: How do you think this story will damage Thailand’s image in the long run?
Walker: Seriously I think because when it’s investigated it seems that it’s not just some fringe Thai gangsters that have been involved, but it’s been going out to the very highest level.
And of course it’s a sign really that these Muslim Myanmar people are an embarrassment to many regimes in the region who find them difficult and try to, sort of, pass them on elsewhere.
The fact that they’re passing them on from camps to traffickers if ransoms aren’t paid makes the entire regime look extremely unsavory.
Press TV: Is there any hope for accountability if at all?
Walker: It depends how far this goes. As your story emphasized quite rightly at the beginning, the United Nations has stepped in. If that report adds to press reports and others to back this story up, yes, I can see it moving further.