Reports on boat with migrants found near Satun Province

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Press Release on 16 May 2015, Regarding reports about a vessel comprising around 300 migrants drifting in Thai territorial waters along the Thai-Malaysian coast, near Satun Province, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform facts as follows.

Upon being notified, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha instructed the Royal Thai Navy to inspect the situation, informing the vessel that Thailand was ready to provide humanitarian assistance if so needed.  However those on board informed the Thai side that they did not wish to disembark on Thailand, the sea current having pushed them into Thai territorial water.  They requested for food, drinking water, and fuel, which Thailand duly provided according to humanitarian principles.

The problem of irregular migration in the Indian Ocean has become more complex, affecting many countries and demands a multi-faceted and internationally-coordinated approach. The Royal Thai Government is therefore organizing the Special Meeting on Irregular Migration in the Indian Ocean on 29 May 2015 in Bangkok.  The Special Meeting is an urgent call for the region to comprehensively work together to address the unprecedented increase of irregular migration across the Bay of Bengal in recent years.  The one-day meeting will be attended by senior officials from 17 affected countries such as Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Bangladesh, and observers including the U.S., as well as relevant international organizations: UNHCR, IOM, and UNODC.