INTRODUCTION: In a bid to stop the flow of refugees from Vietnam, Thailand has decided that from 15 August, all arrivals from Vietnam will be barred from resettling in third countries.
GV Refugee camp entrance with people entering and leaving
GV & PAN Beach front TO beached boats
GV & CU Man cleaning fish (2 shots)
GV Songkhla Camp Hospital sign
CU INT Young child
CU & ZOOM OUT TO SV EXT Mother with baby
GV Refugees sitting at table and relaxing in hammock (2 shots)
GV & PAN Beached boats, refugees outside makeshift hut
GV & SV Men burning vacated huts (2 shots)
GV Refugees in beach sentry box
SV Refugees playing checkers (3 shots)
SV INT Teacher at blackboard with children in classroom(3 shots)
LOCKYER: "Thailand, which previously had an open door policy towards refugee arrivals, is now sending a clear message to Vietnam that it's had enough. After more than six years of placing host to boat people, as they've waited to be taken by countries of the west, Thailand believes it's time to draw the line. It's attempting to do that by issuing warnings to would-be refugees in Vietnam that they'll end up in a detention centre for an indefinite period if they make it to Thailand, with no possibility of resettlement to other countries."
"It's the latest and the most extreme move yet by Thailand to stop the refugee problem at its source. Earlier it announced that refugee camps like this one on the Gulf of Thailand would be closed. It would eliminate well known targets for those setting out from Vietnam. The refugees are being moved to one big transit centre near Bangkok, away from the coast, where they will await resettlement. Australia and other countries which have been taking in those refugees in their thousand are now seriously questioning whether those leaving Vietnam now are genuine refugees. That is, fleeing political oppression or whether they are simply looking for a better life abroad, leaving purely for economic reasons. As Thailand has watched this debate develop among the resettlement countries, it's become increasingly worried that they may stop taking those it considers are purely economic adventurers, leaving Thailand to look after them, something the country is not prepared to do."
REPORTER: PAUL LOCKYER
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: In a bid to stop the flow of refugees from Vietnam, Thailand has decided that from 15 August, all arrivals from Vietnam will be barred from resettling in third countries. Thailand has been a major transit point for tens of thousands of Vietnamese fleeing their country by sea since the communist takeover in 1975. According to the Australian Broadcasting Commission's Paul Lockyer, the decision is intended to discourage departure of Vietnamese from their homeland by making clear that they can no longer expect to be resettled abroad once they land.