Yangon – Thousands of ethnic Karen refugees, who fled Myanmar, could die of hunger in Thailand. Most have been living in makeshift tents in Tak province since January after intensified fighting between Karen rebels and Myanmar’s military forced them to leave their homes for the border area and then across the border into Thailand. Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi spoke about the refugee crisis, expressing hope that the refugees can come home quickly and enjoy better living conditions.
An estimated 10,000 Karen refugees have been surviving in Thailand without adequate shelter and food, eating plain rice, struggling to make any money since they are unable to work. “We only get rice,” said one man in the border town of Mae Sot, “two cups per person each day, provided once every two weeks”.