Over the New Year's holiday, a group of Rohingya refugees managed to get by boat to Langkawi in Malaysia. Many swam over 500m to reach land and at least one died. Another boat of Rohingya refugees managed to reach Phuket around the same time
Our group found the conditions challenging at times _ high waves, strong winds and occasional driving rain.
We sought protection on cushioned seats inside our large tourist vessel where we chatted about the next coral reef we would explore.
The Rohingya's simultaneous passage through those same rough waters, in boats that were surely less seaworthy than ours, attests to how bad things are for them in Myanmar.
The government's treatment of the Rohingya families whose boat reached Phuket _ they were sent back to Myanmar _ is heartbreaking. Where compassion was required, none was given.
In the long run, such bad decisions can only tarnish Thailand's reputation in the international community.