Don’t worry the Cambodians are coming back to Thailand… Or are they? UPDATE: More stories
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Don’t worry the Cambodians are coming back to Thailand… Or are they? UPDATE: More stories

Via a reader, MCOT on June 19:

After the recent exodus of more than 100,000 Cambodian labourers has continued for days, the flow has now been reversed and the number of workers in Thailand has climbed back to normal, as Thailand has clarified the situation to its neighbouring country.


Cambodian labourers were now seen working as usual in shops and markets in Aranyaprathet district of Sa Keao province, after many panicked and fled Thailand as the rumour spread.

Most Cambodian labourers working in the district today came equipped with legal passports and border passes, although some were also seen returning across the border back into Cambodia–but in lower numbers than before.

Meanwhile, the area in front of the Aranyaprathet Municipality Office which is used to provide assistance to Cambodian workers arriving by rail, has seeing fewer Cambodian arrivals in the past few days from the usual 3,000 arrivals daily, with less than 500 workers arriving at the office today.

BP: The number of workers in Thailand has climbed (returned?) back to normal??? Around 200,000 leave and suddenly we have an announcement that the numbers are back to normal. Not sure about the usual 3,000 given we had up to 40,000 a day.

The Bangkok Post again with more news about returning Cambodians

The first group of 222 workers with the new, low-priced passports crossed the border into  Aranyaprathet, Sa Kaeo province, on Monday, according to a Thairath Online report.

Here is a question for the Bangkok Post, how many are still leaving? Phnom Penh Post:

After the rush of Cambodian migrant workers swelling over the border appeared to finally be subsiding last week, officials said the number started to spike again yesterday, attributing the rise to the announcement of $4 passports.

On Friday, Prime Minister Hun Sen signed a subdecree that will see the normal fee of $124 for passports reduced to just $4 for students and migrant workers.

The same day, the number of workers crossing back into Cambodia via the Poipet International Checkpoint declined to 2,421 – towards the lower end of the scale since the mass exodus of workers fleeing Thailand began two weeks ago, but still vastly higher than the 100-person norm before the crisis.

But on Saturday and Sunday, an increasing number of migrants poured into the small checkpoint again.

BP: So based on this the low point for the number returning to Cambodia is 2,241, but the Bangkok Post gets all excited when on different days more than 100 and 222 workers enter Thailand. Yes, the numbers leaving has dropped significantly, but based on the newspaper reports the numbers leaving are still outpacing those coming back. It is not a matter of this being resolved in a few days and everything going back to normal. Stop pretending things are back to normal when the evidence presented shows it is not.

Original post below:

Some 200,000 Cambodian migrant workers have left Thailand and gone back to Cambodia and on some days up to 40,000 a day have left, but the Bangkok Post tells us not to worry with an article with the headline “Cambodian workers return as crackdown fears abate”. Key excerpt:

Cambodian workers who last week fled Thailand en masse have begun trickling back into the country as concerns over a harsh military crackdown are easing, officials say.

Former education minister Chaturon Chaisaeng receives flowers from supporters as he arrives at a military court hearing to consider a request to detain him for another 12 days for disobeying the junta. He was not detained since he is already out on bail. Apichart Jinakul

Col Phichit Meekhunsut, commander of a special task force unit under the 12th Military Ranger Regiment, yesterday visited a border checkpoint in Sa Kaeo’s Aranyaprathet district, which was set up by soldiers, police and customs officers to check on Cambodian migrants returning to the country.

More than 100 Cambodians entered the country yesterday through the Aranyaprathet border from the Cambodian town of Poipet, he said.

BP: More than 100? This constitutes news of of returning Cambodian workers?