Accidents encountered by Myanmar nationals who enter Thailand illegally

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – August 06 Scenes

MoeMaKa, August 07, 2023

Accidents encountered by Myanmar nationals who enter Thailand illegally


One of the news items that is often heard in the news is about the accidents in Thailand involving Myanmar illegal migrants. It will also be seen that the number of casualties in these accidents is always high. Most of the collisions have occurred during illegal entry, and some of the accidents happened during the commute to work, or during travel for long vacations from Thailand to Myanmar.


The latest car accident occurred when construction workers were on their way to work, killing 7 people and injuring many others, according to VOA Myanmar news. Instead of sitting in a seat like a passenger car, workers have to ride in the back of a pick-up truck that carries goods, and during the illegal sneak into Thailand, the same pick-up cars were used. So, it can be concluded that when there is a car accident, there are many deaths and injuries.


Last month, a pickup truck carrying Myanmar illegal migrants collided head to head with a car on the road near an intersection near Tak City, killing 5 people on the spot. The Thai driver also died in the incident. In order to avoid checkpoints and interrogation, a pick-up vehicle is used, a type of car that can be driven quickly and run away and so, there are many casualties whenever there is an accident as it usually carries up to 20 people.


Myanmar citizens must have heard about the dangers of such traffic accidents. For the illegal migration, the drivers are paid tens of thousands of Thai baht. But, they prioritize profit and avoiding getting caught by the Thai police over safety from accidents, so the road to working illegally in Thailand is full of dangers.


Armed warfare has erupted throughout Myanmar, and the military junta’s raids, arrests, and killings in the Sagaing Region, where agriculture is the main focus, have made it impossible for the sector to thrive any more. Along with these, the local currency has drastically depreciated, and the income from working abroad has grown more alluring, causing young and middle-aged people of all genders to travel to Thailand illegally in search of employment.


Among those who went to work in Thailand in the past, the majority came from Tanintharyi, Karen, Mon and Shan states, while there were fewer from the central regions of Myanmar such as Mandalay, Sagaing and Ayeyarwady. After the military coup, the armed conflict and the lack of employment opportunities have led people from the central Myanmar to go to Thailand. The 2 parents of a child who died when the military council’s airstrike on a school in Letyetkone Village, Depayin Township, are both migrant workers in Thailand’s Maha Chai region. The civil war, arrests, and scarcity of employment opportunities in Myanmar have made it more and more encouraging to go to neighboring countries as migrant workers. Under the conditions of illegal entry, safety, human rights, and labor rights can no longer be taken care of, and the unwanted consequences continue to occur.


Another piece of news for today is the news of fighting between the armed wing of the Shan State Progressive Party – SSPP, the Shan State Army – SSA and military council troops in Laihka Township.


After the military coup, the SSPP is one of the armed groups that have not clashed with the military council. The SSPP is based in Shan State and is one of the two powerful armed forces of the Shan people. Shan ethnic armed groups are not enemies with organizations such as NUCC and NUG that emerged after the military coup, but they do not form alliances and attack the military council. They approached the Shan people’s right to self-governance and self-determination from their point of view, and attended peace talks with the military council either strategically or tactically. On the other hand, there are assumptions that Shan ethnic armed groups are close to Western countries, that they have close relations with China, and that there may be common views and interactions that are not known to the public. Armed groups based in Shan State, which is the largest of Myanmar’s ethnic areas and borders neighboring Thailand and China, are also in an important position in Myanmar’s political war.


It is too early to say and conclude whether the recent fighting will be an initiation for further fighting between the SSPP and the military council, or whether it is a kind of fighting to show discordance with the encroachment of their bases.