On June 2nd 2012, Aung San Suu Kyi visited the Mae La refugee camp in Thailand. The camp is the home of almost 50 000 Burmese people, who have fled the oppression in their country.
Aung San Suu Kyi visited Mae La camp
Aung San Suu Kyi in Mae La camp in June 2012. Photo: TBBC
A warm welcome
Aung San Suu Kyi 's visit brought with it excitement, anticipation and an energy seldom seen in the camps, says Diakonia's partner organization TBBC.
After meeting with groups and organizations working in the camps, Aung San Suu Kyi was driven through the crowds. People were lining the path-way, chanting ‘Ma Suu’ and waving flags emblazoned with the flag of the National League for Democracy.
The camps need further assistance - as well as people in Burma
Aung San Suu Kyi acknowledged that now is the wrong time to decrease assistance in camps, but the right time to increase assistance in Myanmar/Burma.
Three major challenges for the refugees
She expressed concern about three major challenges that the refugees are currently facing in Thailand:
In the limited time she spent in the camp, her message was clear: there is a lot to be done in Myanmar/Burma before the refugees can return, but their plight must not be forgotten: