Sunday, May 07, 2006

US Welcomes Burmese Refugees

Accordning to a report in the Navhind Times, some 9,000 ethnic Karen refugees from camps on the Thai-Burmese border may soon be on their way to the United States. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice waived anti-terrorism provisions of the Patriot Act that had prevented some families associated with Karen National Liberation Army guerrillas from coming to America. The Department of Homeland Security has decided that non-combatant Karens pose no threat to the United States.

The refugee camps have been an long-term irritant in Thai-Burmese relations, accused of serving as bases for attacks by Burma, and resented by Thailand due to violent incidents at Karen protests.

Thailand's Karen refugees camps have been in operation for 16 years.

UPDATE: More on the Karen at Wikipedia.