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Migration and Exile at the Thai-Myanmar Border

A short account of a trip that I went on between 28 July and 6 August 2011 along with Mirza Zulfiqur Rahman and Brian Orland. As all good trips go, it was decided at virtually the 11th hour. Mirza and I met at a coffee shop pretty much decided we were headed to Northeast India in a few days time. There must have been something in the coffee, for we swung from Tripura to Thailand in the space of a few minutes and Brian then joined us because he happened to be in the neighbourhood. The account below was originally written for a strategic affairs think-tank and so does not do full justice to our trip that was full of interesting people, places, and happenings. Perhaps another time.

Thailand has been involved in a number of ways in developments across the border in Burma. While trade and commerce through multiple points on the border form a very big part of their bilateral relationship, also coming through the borders has been a steady stream of Burmese refugees and migrant workers. Prominent points of contact include the Three Pagodas Pass and Mae Sot, both in western Thailand and Mae Sai in northern Thailand.