Burmese Ping Pong Exodus

Burma-Thai border, 2010

The day after the burmese presidential elections on November 7, the burmese army attacked the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DBKA) near Myawaddy in the Karen State. A grenade and some gunshots crossed the border reaching the Thai city of Mae Sot, wounding several people. The 8th November’s one was 2010’s biggest Burmese refugees’ exodus. After the burmese elections, refugees continued to move across Burma-Thai border because the fighting in Karen state showed no sign of stopping. About 20,000 burmese refugees escaped from the armed conflicts, crossing the Thai-Burmese border. The refugees were given asylum by  Thai authorities for the first 24-hours, then sent back to Burma. Thai authorities have been criticized for treating burmese civilians who fled like ‘ping pong balls’, refusing to give them the refugees status and forcing their return.