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Cablegate: Repatriation of 67 Hmong From Thailand

VZCZCXRO9468
PP RUEHCHI
DE RUEHVN #0227 1020612
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 110612Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1959
INFO RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK PRIORITY 7665
RUEHCHI/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI 0631
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0630

UNCLAS VIENTIANE 000227

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/MLS (BESTIC);
BANGKOK FOR POL (SUTTON);
BANGKOK FOR REFCOORD (SCHERER);
DEPT FOR PRM/ENA;
DEPT FOR PRM/ADM;
GENEVA FOR RMA;
PACOM FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: LA PHUM PREF PREL TH
SUBJECT: REPATRIATION OF 67 HMONG FROM THAILAND

REF: A. BANGKOK 1151
B. VIENTIANE 0225

(SBU) MFA Director General for Press Affairs Yong
Chanthalangsy confirmed press reports that Thailand had
repatriated 19 families of Lao Hmong (67 individuals) from
Thailand's detention facility in Petchabun Province.
According to Yong the 67 had arrived on April 10 and had been
sent to the Lao screening facility at Paksan where they are
expected to remain for "less than a month." Yong said he
expected that 80% of this group had come from Xiang Khouang
Province and would be returned there after screening for
resettlement with extended family members. Asked about
returning them at this time -- just before the April 13 Lao
(and Thai) traditional New Year -- Yong said that, with 8000
to be repatriated from Thailand, the process, although
starting slowly, has to move forward. Yong said that the Pak
San screening personnel had been instructed to work through
the New Year holiday to complete screening. (Note: the
return was highlighted as a front-page story in three major
Lao newspapers on April 11; this group does not include the
Lao Hmong waiting to be repatriated from Petchabun to Laos to
be subsequently resettled to France (ref B).)
HUSO

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