This is very bad news from Southeast Asia: ethnic Karen refugees from Burma are being deported by the Thai government back to a landmine-infested camp in Burma. According to the Burma Campaign UK,
[On February 5] Three families, nine women and four children, including a nine month old baby, were forced back into Burma before the deportations were halted. The halt coincided with the arrival of foreign diplomats and NGOs. Thai authorities had originally blocked their entry to the camp. There is great concern that the Thais will restart the forced deportations soon.
You can read more about the situation here on The Irrawaddy news website.
I asked my friend Alan Senauke, founder of the Clear View Project, what we might do to support these people. His response was not optimistic: “There is a lot of governmental and NGO response to this at a very high level. And negative press all over Asia, including Thailand. A letter to the Thai prime minister was sent yesterday by 30 or so US congress people. Also, the State Department has commented. The painful entanglements and complicity of Thailand and Burma is deeply painful. I have not often seen the Thai government be responsive to outside opinion.”
This may be one of those times when the best thing we can do is send lots of metta in the direction of the refugees as well as the Thai government.