Mass killing for money in Thai camps is shocking25 May 2015 Editorial Desk
The horrors of Thai jungles; which camped ill-fated human beings from Bangladesh and Rohingya refugees showed not only criminal traffickers were involved in the barbarity, Thai local political establishments, law makers, police and military personnel, bureaucracy and even the entire rural community worked to protect the slave trade as an easy way to prosperity.
The BBC report filed by its South East Asia correspondent Jonathan Head made the stunning disclosure of the inside story suggesting it all happened under the nose of the Thai government. Nothing happened without official connivance. People in Bangladesh tend to believe that Thailand is a close friend of Bangladesh and as far as it goes to the torture and killing of our people in Thai jungles and in boat at sea, it sounds simply unbelievable.
There is also a network operating in Bangladesh to collect victims from throughout the country. The truth is unfolding. But the exposure of the horrors that took place in the Thai jungles and the narrative of how Thai local government machinery and political establishments had worked together is highly inhuman and disturbing.
Specially, the disclosure of Thai district Chief Manit Pianthong that he had sought help from the government to stop the trade booming in his area, but did get only 'little help from the central government or from local law enforcers' appears quite dismaying.
It showed the illegal inhuman trade was not unknown to the Thai government and the authorities concerned knew the origin of the victims and those engaged in the trafficking. It was quite unfortunate from a friendly Thai government with which Bangladesh has good diplomatic relations and trade between the two countries is also fast growing. Moreover considerable number of Bangladeshis go to Thailand as tourists and for receiving treatment. It is painful to admit that thousands of Bangladeshi nationals were traded as slaves using that Thailand as conduit while many of them were killed or detained without food and drinking water to extort ransom money. How a Buddhist country like Thailand could be so heartless and inhuman for exploiting the poor people is unbelievable.
The Thai government could stop the traffickers' ring many years ago. But its tolerance of the crimes has allowed the human miseries to continue.
Jonathan's disclosure that people were traded in a bundle of 300 for US$ 20,000 is reminiscent of medieval slave trade. Thailand in modern history allowed it to be replicated in real life again. The disclosure of a Thai police officer that he knew the human trafficking was taking place from the camps located at Malaysian border under military control. So the Thai army also cannot claim ignorance of the killing and brutality being perpetrated on migrant workers reroute to other countries.
It is no less a shame for us that our government has not raised the matter with the Thai government and protested in strong terms. Our friendship with Thailand does not mean we cannot express our resentment and demand proper punishment to the criminals. As friend surely our government can demand this from another friend.
It is also a disappointment when our own government expresses surprise why our poor people go abroad in search of jobs when the government is doing so much. The government forgets that it is also doing slave trade sending lakhs of people to different countries.