Foreign Media Not to Be TrustedBy Bangkok Pundit Feb 04, 2009 12:06AM UTC
So says our foreign minister as The Nation reports (also heard him say it on the TV news):
Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said Wednesday that people should not believe international news reports about the Rohingya boat people being treated inhumanely in Thailand.International news agencies have reported that a group of 198 boat people, rescued in Indonesia on Monday, had been towed out to sea by the Thai military three weeks ago. Twenty-two had died during the crossing, the survivors told Indonesian officials.Kasit played down the report saying he would only listen to official reports from Indonesian authorities.The plight of the Rohingya people was highlighted as the Thai navy was accused of abandoning nearly 1,000 of them in the high seas in December. Some were rescued by the Indian coast guard and some by Indonesian fishermen who discovered the 12metre boat off Aceh’s coast in northern Sumatra and towed it to shore on Monday.
“Fishermen found a wooden boat without an engine drifting in the sea with 198 Myanmar [Burmese] migrants. They said Thai authorities towed them out to sea and set them adrift,” said Lieutenant Tedi Sutardi of the Indonesian navy.Twenty refugees are believed to have died while the boat drifted.“They were drifting for about 21 days. Most of them are in critical condition and are receiving treatment at a local state hospital,” said Lieutenant Sutardi. “They were standing on the boat for 21 days because there was no space to sit. It is a miracle they survived.”
BP: So does he believe the quotes are inaccurate or the Indonesian Navy is lying?