Burmese migrants arrested at Bangkok charity gig

Mar 31, 2009 (DVB), Nearly 400 Burmese migrant workers were arrested in Bangkok last week when Thai immigration officials raided a charity rock concert held to raise money for HIV/AIDS sufferers and orphaned children.

Over 1000 Burmese migrant workers were thought to be attending the concert on 29 March given by popular Burmese group Iron Cross.

Thai officials stopped hundreds of people en route to the concert to check for identification.

"Around 400 migrants who failed to show their identification cards were arrested by the immigration who took them away in four trucks," said a Burmese migrant who witnessed the incident.

Another Burmese national at the concert told DVB that Thai officials also ordered the concert to be shut down after they discovered that singers and band members were performing on tourist visas without official permission from the Thai government.

"It happened just about when [frontman] Lay Phyu started playing," he said.

"The Thai officials demanded the show end because the band didn't get permission from authorities to perform.

"The show ended around 11pm after Thai authorities let Lay Phyu and three other singers, yet to perform, sing one song each."

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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