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Going home

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The refugees who fled fighting near Mae Sot have largely returned home, but elsewhere more refugees have entered Thailand. 

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Refugees begin to leave

Burmese refugees board a boat in Mae Sot yesterday to return home. AP

The Burmese refugees staying at the 346th Border Patrol Police unit in Mae Sot district of Tak now have some room to stretch their legs and move about.

Only about 3,000 to 4,000 remain of the estimated 20,000 who fled fighting in Myawaddy just across the border.

Mae Sot district chief Kittisak Tomornsak said most Burmese civilians in Mae Sot had started to return home after Thai authorities told them Burmese officials confirmed the situation in Myawaddy was now safe.

Third Army commander Wannathip Wongwai said yesterday the governor of Myawaddy had confirmed the situation in the city was under control and Burmese troops had retaken control.

The refugees who decided to stay at the border patrol unit were said to be unsure about their safety if they returned to Burma.

Elsewhere along the border things were not so calm yesterday.

In Kanchanaburi, Sangkhla Buri district chief Chamras Kangnoi said yesterday sporadic fighting between Karen rebels and Burmese troops continued in Phaya Taung Su town in Burma about one kilometre from the Three Pagodas Pass.

About 1,900 Burmese fled into Thailand near the Three Pagodas Pass yesterday, bringing the number of Burmese crossing the border to about 3,500, Mr Chamras said.

Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha said yesterday the army would continue to provide Burmese civilians with humanitarian assistance until the situation on the other side of the border returned to normal.

Plans are in place to provide them with medical care and to facilitate their transport home, Gen Prayuth said.

"We will provide them with temporary shelter and will arrange to send them back when the situation is back to normal," he said.

Gen Prayuth stressed that no more refugee centres would be set up as the existing number of camps was adequate to handle the influx of refugees.
Adapted from a story in today’s Bangkok Post.

refugee – someone who leaves their country or living place, especially during a war or other threatening event ผู้ลี้ภัย
border – the official line separating two areas, regions or countries  เขตแดน อาณาเขต
border patrol police – the police unit that controls a country’s borders ตำรวจชายแดน
stretch – to make your arms, legs, or body as straight as possible so that your muscles become long and tight เหยียดตัว, เหยียดแขนขา
remain – to stay in a particular place or position and not leave it ยังอยู่
estimated – thought to be a particular amount, size, etc. based on a guess or the best information available ประมาณการ
fled (past of flee) – escaped; left an area very quickly because of a danger there หนีไป
civilian – someone who does not belong to the armed forces or the police พลเรือน
authorities – people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
commander – the head of an army or army unit ผู้บังคับบัญชา
elsewhere – another place or other places ที่อื่น
sporadic – not regular or frequent ซึ่งเกิดขึ้นนานๆ ครั้ง,  ที่เกิดขึ้นเป็นพักๆ
rebels – people who try to remove a government or leader by force ผู้ก่อกบฏ
troops – soldiers, especially in large numbers กองทหาร
humanitarian – relating to efforts to help people who are living in very bad conditions and are suffering because of a war, flood, earthquake etc มีมนุษยธรรม
assistance – help; aid ความช่วยเหลือ
facilitate – to make it possible or easier for something to happen ทำให้สะดวกขึ้น
temporary – done or used for only a limited period of time ชั่วคราว
shelter – a place where people are protected from danger or bad weather; a temporary place to stay ที่หลบภัย  ที่พักชั่วคราว
stress – to emphasise something; to say that something is important เน้นย้ำ
adequate – good enough or large enough for a particular purpose พอเพียง
influx – a large number of people or things coming in to a place การหลั่งไหล การไหลบ่า  (เข้าไปยังที่ใดที่หนึ่ง)

Related search: Burmese refugees, Mae Sot, Myawaddy

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