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Myanmar migrant bike fines by Thai police ‘excessive’: NGO


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I do not get this. Why have a driver's licence system where you do not have to have one. Sorry folks. This time I have no sympathy.

Sympathy is sometimes best measured by understanding the plight of those who are potential recipients of it.

It seems there is more to this story than the procurement of a drivers license.

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I do not get this. Why have a driver's licence system where you do not have to have one. Sorry folks. This time I have no sympathy.

Sympathy is sometimes best measured by understanding the plight of those who are potential recipients of it.

It seems there is more to this story than the procurement of a drivers license.

Much more. But my sympathy lies with the victims of the accident if the driver is unlicenced. I do not deny there are problems but these are not eliminated by throwing away the rulebook that applies to everyone else living here which are designed so we can all live in relative safety and security.

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Simple solution: Buy a Helmet, get a License. The police shouldn't be only charging the migrant workers, the rules should apply to all motorbike users. Maybe at the same time the officers could check out the lighting system. The other night while returning home, we counted 4 motorbikes without tail lights.

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Yet another good reason I no longer live in Thailand ... I refuse to let my wealth support such a corrupt and vile nation.

So, just out of curiosity what shining light on the hill place of residence do you and your wealth now consider worthy of your presence?

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I do not pretend to understand the rules for Burmese migrants, but as I understand it, there are different types of documentation for different categories. eg construction workers do not have a work permit in the same way that I do.

I was under the impression that construction workers (and others?) were 'tied' to place of work or place of residence. They were not allowed to ride motorbikes or to go wandering off around the islands. (Anyone out there know if this is correct?)

I have no idea as to the workings of things for casual/service staff. I am sure that some of them are illegal.

Then there are those that enter Thailand correctly with all documentation in order.

I tend to agree with Benmart - there is more to this story and we need more information.

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I do not pretend to understand the rules for Burmese migrants, but as I understand it, there are different types of documentation for different categories. eg construction workers do not have a work permit in the same way that I do.

I was under the impression that construction workers (and others?) were 'tied' to place of work or place of residence. They were not allowed to ride motorbikes or to go wandering off around the islands. (Anyone out there know if this is correct?)

I have no idea as to the workings of things for casual/service staff. I am sure that some of them are illegal.

Then there are those that enter Thailand correctly with all documentation in order.

I tend to agree with Benmart - there is more to this story and we need more information.

It does vary, with the work permit thing, many do pay a "fee" for the year... 5900 baht, I think. .... (a months wages for some, starting out) Some get a room included, some rent there own house and generally share with other family members or friends usually .....a few of these Burmese make a lot more than the minimum, so have salaries over 20,000 baht per month... plus tips... but not the majority for sure.

Usually they have been working a good number of years to get to that, and may have a third or more languages for dealing with the Chinese etc.....

Some resorts and tour companies do advance that "fee", but it's not always that easy for the construction workers, it depends on the owner and how they get an "official permit"... or not! Sometimes they have to pay outrageous rents for their tin shack accommodation in camps too... living standards in some are deplorable ... but then some are better too... there are other too that have their own business... it varies ....

Often with many of them they send money back to their country of origin to support family... leaving little for themselves...

I don't know how many Laos workers there are here, they must suffer the same ordeals .. The Filipinos seem to do OK, I don't know many but they blend in better with their looking not so different than the Thais... at least when they don't speak!

The Burmese I know, all try to obey the laws here... I can't think of any I know that don't have a helmet .... just about all of them I know, don't drink alcohol either ... it's sprite or coke!

Edited by samuijimmy
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I do not pretend to understand the rules for Burmese migrants, but as I understand it, there are different types of documentation for different categories. eg construction workers do not have a work permit in the same way that I do.

I was under the impression that construction workers (and others?) were 'tied' to place of work or place of residence. They were not allowed to ride motorbikes or to go wandering off around the islands. (Anyone out there know if this is correct?)

I have no idea as to the workings of things for casual/service staff. I am sure that some of them are illegal.

Then there are those that enter Thailand correctly with all documentation in order.

I tend to agree with Benmart - there is more to this story and we need more information.

It does vary, with the work permit thing, many do pay a "fee" for the year... 5900 baht, I think. .... (a months wages for some, starting out) Some get a room included, some rent there own house and generally share with other family members or friends usually .....a few of these Burmese make a lot more than the minimum, so have salaries over 20,000 baht per month... plus tips... but not the majority for sure.

Usually they have been working a good number of years to get to that, and may have a third or more languages for dealing with the Chinese etc.....

Some resorts and tour companies do advance that "fee", but it's not always that easy for the construction workers, it depends on the owner and how they get an "official permit"... or not! Sometimes they have to pay outrageous rents for their tin shack accommodation in camps too... living standards in some are deplorable ... but then some are better too... there are other too that have their own business... it varies ....

Often with many of them they send money back to their country of origin to support family... leaving little for themselves...

I don't know how many Laos workers there are here, they must suffer the same ordeals .. The Filipinos seem to do OK, I don't know many but they blend in better with their looking not so different than the Thais... at least when they don't speak!

The Burmese I know, all try to obey the laws here... I can't think of any I know that don't have a helmet .... just about all of them I know, don't drink alcohol either ... it's sprite or coke!

Only Lao, Cambodian and Burmese can legally work in construction in Thailand, in addition to Thais. All the Filipinos, Chinese etc. you have described are illegal and should be arrested and deported. Westerners don't work illegally in construction in Thailand so why should Filipinos, they are just abusing the system because of their similar physical appearance to Thais. There is no special visa for them to work in this industry but having said that, where are you finding these Filipino workers? I haven't seen even one. I've only ever seen legal Filipino nurses, English teachers and bands working at hotels in Thailand.

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Myanmar migrant bike fines by Thai police ‘excessive’ in Samui says Andy Hall

Andy-Hall-Samui-Police-300x225.jpg

KOH SAMUI: -- A migrant workers organization has filed complaint letters with two police stations in southern Thailand on December 28 over allegedly excessive motorcycle fining practices of Myanmar migrants by the Thai police on the resort islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.

Migrant Worker Rights Network international affairs advisor Mr Andy Hall travelled to Bo Phut and Koh Samui district police stations on Koh Samui island to hand over urgent complaint letters signed by MWRN President U Sein Htay Sun to the Thai police commanders of both police stations and discuss the content of the letters, according to Mr Hall.

The MWRN handles rights and livelihood issues for migrant workers in Thailand, and has recently been involved in helping with the defence of the two Myanmar migrant workers accused of the murder of two British tourists on Koh Tao in September.

The complaint letters, sent by MWRN on behalf of Myanmar migrant workers on the three islands, requested urgent reconsideration by the Royal Thai Police Force and the Land Transport Ministry of allegedly excessive fining practices against migrant workers where migrant use of motorcycles is a necessity but lack of access to driving licenses and allegedly abusive practices by Thai police officers impacts strongly on the ability of migrant motorbike users to survive comfortably, according to a Facebook post.

Motorcycles are a necessity for many migrants due to limited or lack of public transport options on the islands.

The MWRN alleges this problem has been present for many years already but has remained unaddressed.

Migrant workers reported to MWRN that being stopped twice in one month for motorcycle violations can cost migrant workers up to 5,000-6,000 Thai baht [K166,000-200,000] or 2,000-3,000 baht per time, sometimes equal to their actual month’s salary.

Tourists and Thais allegedly face much lower rates of fines of around 200-1,000 baht per time, even though tourists rarely hold driving licenses also, according to the complaint.

Mr Hall reported that the Thai police commanders listened politely and with concern and ordered their subordinates to urgently look into and investigate the MWRN complaint letter and ensure safe and just use of motorbikes and roads for everyone, of whatever nationality, in the areas under their control.

MWRN says it will closely monitor developments on this issue.

samuitimes-logo.jpg

-- Samui Times 2014-12-31

Why would the police listen to a westerner who makes a complaint on behalf of people who are not from his background? And in any case, why would the police care? They'll just continue the way they've always done anyway. And he's stating that the Burmese migrant workers can't get access to driving licences? Well maybe they shouldn't be driving then, but should be walking or bussed around by their companies!

Why doesn't he also hand in a complaint to the authorities about unfair racist dual pricing for foreigners at amusement parks, museums and temples, if he's at it. That's a far more important issue than this one anyway.

Edited by Tomtomtom69
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I do not get this. Why have a driver's licence system where you do not have to have one. Sorry folks. This time I have no sympathy.

Sympathy is sometimes best measured by understanding the plight of those who are potential recipients of it.

It seems there is more to this story than the procurement of a drivers license.

Much more. But my sympathy lies with the victims of the accident if the driver is unlicenced. I do not deny there are problems but these are not eliminated by throwing away the rulebook that applies to everyone else living here which are designed so we can all live in relative safety and security.

I agree. And also as nice as Burmese migrant workers might be, but I don't see how their driving around without licences and being extorted by police is an issue that needs attention brought to it like this news article suggests. As it stands they are driving illegally and in their own country of Myanmar, we aren't allowed to drive around without a local driver's licence either (although sometimes a blind eye is turned to this practice, but it depends on which part of Myanmar you are in) so why this double standard?

A few weeks ago I was in Myawady and me and some new friends decided to rent some motorcycles/scooters for the day. One friend had a minor accident immediately after driving out of the parking lot and then the police told him he couldn't ride anymore, but apparently it was implied that on that day none of us were allowed to ride by ourselves, because of his accident (he was the only one of us 6 who didn't have riding experience). Since it was raining on that day, we had 6 people and already had a car with driver, which at 10,000 Kyats for the whole day was dirt cheap for a day tour outside the city it was the right thing to do, not to use the bikes. But my point is they were quite strict so why shouldn't the Thai police also be strict on Myanmar workers?

Driving a car or motorcycle in Thailand is NOT a right for anyone. It's a privilege, especially if you're not Thai. Although the level of enforcement for lacking licences, dangerous driving etc. is low, when an accident does occur and when the driver is an unlicenced migrant worker then the issue becomes a big one.

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I do not pretend to understand the rules for Burmese migrants, but as I understand it, there are different types of documentation for different categories. eg construction workers do not have a work permit in the same way that I do.

I was under the impression that construction workers (and others?) were 'tied' to place of work or place of residence. They were not allowed to ride motorbikes or to go wandering off around the islands. (Anyone out there know if this is correct?)

I have no idea as to the workings of things for casual/service staff. I am sure that some of them are illegal.

Then there are those that enter Thailand correctly with all documentation in order.

I tend to agree with Benmart - there is more to this story and we need more information.

It does vary, with the work permit thing, many do pay a "fee" for the year... 5900 baht, I think. .... (a months wages for some, starting out) Some get a room included, some rent there own house and generally share with other family members or friends usually .....a few of these Burmese make a lot more than the minimum, so have salaries over 20,000 baht per month... plus tips... but not the majority for sure.

Usually they have been working a good number of years to get to that, and may have a third or more languages for dealing with the Chinese etc.....

Some resorts and tour companies do advance that "fee", but it's not always that easy for the construction workers, it depends on the owner and how they get an "official permit"... or not! Sometimes they have to pay outrageous rents for their tin shack accommodation in camps too... living standards in some are deplorable ... but then some are better too... there are other too that have their own business... it varies ....

Often with many of them they send money back to their country of origin to support family... leaving little for themselves...

I don't know how many Laos workers there are here, they must suffer the same ordeals .. The Filipinos seem to do OK, I don't know many but they blend in better with their looking not so different than the Thais... at least when they don't speak!

The Burmese I know, all try to obey the laws here... I can't think of any I know that don't have a helmet .... just about all of them I know, don't drink alcohol either ... it's sprite or coke!

Only Lao, Cambodian and Burmese can legally work in construction in Thailand, in addition to Thais. All the Filipinos, Chinese etc. you have described are illegal and should be arrested and deported. Westerners don't work illegally in construction in Thailand so why should Filipinos, they are just abusing the system because of their similar physical appearance to Thais. There is no special visa for them to work in this industry but having said that, where are you finding these Filipino workers? I haven't seen even one. I've only ever seen legal Filipino nurses, English teachers and bands working at hotels in Thailand.

As I said, I don't know that many Filipinos .... but those I have run across over the years, generally seem to be in Chawang, as singers / bands at bars ... perhaps hotels too? , I don't know for sure! ...

as for Laos and Cambodians, I have never run in to any of them as far as I know! Not sure if they come Samui, but there was a big excedest of them when the Army took over, I seem to remember...from other areas of Thailand.

I did not say I knew Chinese workers, I know, Burmese workers who have learned Chinese to deal with Chinese Tourists!... wink.png

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They are not allowed to be out of camp after 9PM, can't own a mobile phone or ride a motorbike . Always been the case, they take the risk.

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They are not allowed to be out of camp after 9PM, can't own a mobile phone or ride a motorbike . Always been the case, they take the risk.

yes true for the camp people usually in construction ... for others in tourist sectors, it is not so restricted or I should probably say enforced...from what they tell me... so many have phones and motorbikes... even computers!

Camp workers are the ones we see in the back of pickups or large trucks heading back to camps... Usually one never hears any noise from the camps, I have one 50 metres from my house, and rarely hear a peep or even see them...

But they are all usually in bed early (9 pm) for an early start! ... So not generally out roaming the streets! Hotel workers often finish later... and have to go home after 9 pm ....wink.png

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