Jolie chastised by Thai government over Myanmar migrants comments

February 12th, 2009 - 1:55 pm ICT by ANI  

Angelina Jolie

London, Feb 12 (ANI): American actress Angelina Jolie has earned herself the ire of the Thai government after she commented on the plight of Myanmar migrants.

Jolie and Brad Pitt had visited a refugee camp on the Thai-Myanmar border last week, as part of her role as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations (U.N.), and the migrants there told her that the Thai military was mistreating them.

Upon hearing their story, Jolie issued an emotive plea to the Thai government urging the authorities to respect the rights of the Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic group from Myanmar.

In her plea the Tomb Raider star asked the Thai government to be just as generous to the Rohingya refugees who are now arriving on their shores as they were to the Ban Mai Nai Soi camp’’s, 18,000 other refugees from Myanmar.

The Thai army has been accused of detaining and torturing hundreds of Rohingya who, in recent months, fled to Thailand to escape poverty in Myanmar.

But now Jolie has been reprimanded by Thai officials for her comments, and they have stated that the United Nations refugee agency should not have allowed her to visit the centre.

Angelina was not focused on the Rohingya, but was visiting Myanmar refugee camps, the Daily Express quoted Virasakdi Futrakul, permanent secretary of the Thai foreign ministry, as saying.

It was a coincidence that the Rohingya was a hot news issue at the time, therefore we must warn (U.N. refugee agency) UNHCR that they should not comment on this issue because they have no mandate on this issue.

The Thai government will issue a reprimand letter to UNHCR asking why it allowed Angelina Jolie to visit the refugee camps, he added.

A representative for UNHCR claims that the Thai Ministry of Interior issued camp passes for both Jolie and Pitt. (ANI)

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