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Thai Army boss plays down risk of migrant influx following military coup in Myanmar

Maya Taylor

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Thai Army boss plays down risk of migrant influx following military coup in Myanmar | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

A Thai Army commander has moved to reassure citizens over fears that yesterday’s military coup in Myanmar may lead to a surge in illegal migrants. Apichet Suesat from the Third Army says forces continue to man the border between Thailand and Myanmar and anyone trying to enter the Kingdom illegally will be arrested.

“We are closely monitoring the situation. Burmese people themselves may not be affected, but I told soldiers to step up inspections at the border in case Burmese politicians or VIPs enter into the country to hide.”

The Burmese military have seized power in Myanmar after voicing concerns about the legitimacy of the recent general election, in which the National League for Democracy won by a landslide. The party’s chairperson, Aung San Suu Kyi, was placed under house arrest yesterday.

According to Naruemon Thabchumpon, from the Political Science faculty at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, the latest developments do not technically constitute a coup d’état, as the Burmese constitution allows for a transfer of power to the commander-in-chief, who is then entitled to remain in power for a year.

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Post reports that, according to Apichet, ethnic minority groups in border areas of the neighbouring country are unlikely to be affected by recent developments, pointing out that steps towards peace between the 2 sides had already begun prior to the outbreak of Covid-19.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeman, Tanee Sangrat, says officials continue to maintain close contact with the Royal Thai Embassy in Yangon and Thai citizens are advised to follow developments and heed official announcements.

“Myanmar is a close neighbour of Thailand and an important member of ASEAN. Thailand hopes to see continued peace and stability in Myanmar, and that the current situation is resolved peacefully with a return to normalcy soon for the benefit of the people of Myanmar.”

Yesterday, border officials sent back a group of 106 Burmese workers, who were attempting to enter the Kingdom illegally at the Mae Sot border in the northern province of Chiang Rai. On the same day, another group of around 100 migrants was sent back to the Burmese town of Kawthaung.

However, Archayon Kraithong, spokesman for Thailand’s Immigration Bureau, says there has been no noticeable spike in illegal border crossings since the military coup.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Pedro

    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 3:29 pm

    Thai Army commander Apichet Suesat says “I told soldiers to step up inspections at the border in case Burmese politicians or VIPs enter into the country to hide.” Doesn’t that just say everything about the Thai Military Governments support for the coup by their colleagues in Myanmar? No help for refugees and the arrest of civilian politicians and so called VIP’s trying to escape persecution by their own people. Life is cheap in SE Asia. The people voted against the Military, and the Military cannot take it. The next elections in Thailand should be interesting………

  2. Avatar

    Kuhn David

    Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 10:23 am

    He looks quite fate for being s soldier. Needs to drop quite a few kilos.

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Myanmar

38 people die “bloodiest day” since Myanmar coup – United Nations

Caitlin Ashworth

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38 people die “bloodiest day” since Myanmar coup – United Nations | The Thaiger
Anti-coup protest in Myanmar on February 14 / Photo by Htin Linn Aye via Wikimedia Commons

38 people died during Myanmar’s anti-coup protests yesterday in what the United Nations is calling the “bloodiest day” in the country since the February 1 military takeover. UN special envoy for Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener said the death toll is “shocking” and that the situation in the Southeast Asian country could lead to a “real war.”

Since last month’s coup, more than 50 people have died while many others have been wounded in protests against military rule. Witnesses say police and soldiers have opened fire with little warning. In a virtual briefing, the UN envoy said experts believe the Burmese police are using 9mm sub-machine guns to fire shots at civilians.

“I saw today very disturbing video clips. One was police beating a volunteer medical crew. They were not armed… Another video clip showed a protester was taken away from police and they shot him from very near, maybe one metre. He didn’t resist his arrest and it seems he died on the street.”

Burmese troops seized power of the civilian government last month, citing what they say was a fraudulent election, although the election commission said the vote was fair. A number of civilian politicians were arrested including democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who had won the November election for state counsellor in a landslide.

Christine says more than 1,200 people are now under detention and many do not know where their loved ones are.

SOURCE: UN News | Aljazeera

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Myanmar

UN condemns violence in Myanmar as at least 18 killed in clashes with authorities

Maya Taylor

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UN condemns violence in Myanmar as at least 18 killed in clashes with authorities | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

The UN human rights office (OHCHR) has called for an immediate end to the use of force in Myanmar, after at least 18 people were killed in violent clashes yesterday. Those opposed to the February 1 military coup have been taking to the streets, with police and military forces opening fire in what was the deadliest day so far.

A spokesperson for UN Secretary-General António Guterres says he condemned the use of force against protesters, which resulted in at least 30 people being injured and 18 killed.

“He is deeply disturbed by the increase in deaths and serious injuries. The use of lethal force against peaceful protestors and arbitrary arrests are unacceptable.”

The Burmese army claims that the parliamentary elections, in which State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi was elected, were fraudulent. She was arrested on February 1, along with several members of her administration. According to media reports, she is due to appear in court today.

The UN Ambassador to Myanmar also condemned the military coup in a General Assembly address in New York and called on the international community to act. He has since been fired.

OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani has also condemned the violence, saying the Burmese people have the right to peacefully protest in the name of democracy.

“The people of Myanmar have the right to assemble peacefully and demand the restoration of democracy. These fundamental rights must be respected by the military and police, not met with violent and bloody repression.”

After clashes between protesters and the military and police, deaths have been reported in Yangon, Dawei, Mandalay, Myiek, Bago and Pokokku, with Shamdasani claiming tear gas and stun grenades were used against protesters. She has slammed the use of force and condemned the arrest and detention of activists.

“Use of lethal force against non-violent demonstrators is never justifiable under international human rights norms. Since the beginning of the coup d’état, the police and security forces have targeted an ever-increasing number of opposition voices and demonstrators by arresting political officials, activists, civil society members, journalists, and medical professionals.

“Today alone, police have detained at least 85 medical professionals and students, as well as 7 journalists, who were present at the demonstrations. Over 1,000 individuals have been arbitrarily arrested and detained in the last month – some of whom remain unaccounted for – mostly without any form of due process, simply for exercising their human rights to freedom of opinion, expression and peaceful assembly.”

The military coup of February 1 came as Myanmar was edging towards democracy after years of army rule. It has been condemned by countries around the world and brought hundreds of thousands of Burmese onto the streets to demand an end to military rule and the restoration of democracy.

SOURCE: UN News

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Politics

Myanmar’s representative to UN urges strong action against military after increasing violence against protesters

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Myanmar’s representative to UN urges strong action against military after increasing violence against protesters | The Thaiger

A representative to the UN for Myanmar is urging the “strongest action to be used against the military after it has used increasing amounts of violence against anti‐coup protesters. The latest round in violence occurred as riot police violently broke up peaceful protesters, arresting over 100 people in 3 major Myanmar cities.

Kyaw Moe Tun made the appeal to the UN General Assembly in New York asking for the international community to end the junta’s rule in his country, while displaying the 3 finger salute that has been adopted from the Hunger Games as a symbol of resistance from anti‐coup supporters.

“We need… the strongest possible action from the international community to immediately end the military coup, to stop oppressing the innocent people, to return the state power to the people, and to restore the democracy.”

Former UN ambassador for the US, Samantha Power, also tweeted her support for the movement.

“It’s impossible to overstate the risks that #Myanmar UN ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun just took in the UN General Assembly.”

UN envoy to Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, also agreed saying the use of lethal force against protesters was “unacceptable.”

So far, at least 5 people have been killed since the overthrow, which has seen police open fire on protesters. Thandar Cho, a street food vendor, says she saw police point their guns in a threatening manner towards apartments during the rallies.

“They beat young protesters with rods and cursed them while doing it.”

A Japanese journalist, Yuki Kitazumi, was also allegedly arrested according to a Facebook post by his assistant, Linn Nyan Htun, during the crackdown.

He “was beaten on the head by baton but he was wearing a helmet.”

The military has justified the coup by alleging that the 2020 November democratic elections, which saw Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy elected by landslide, were fraudulent.

Suu Kyi was arrested, along with other leaders, and is now facing 2 charges of illegally posessing walkie-talkies in her home and for breaking Covid-19 rules. But her lawyer, Khing Maung Zaw, is concerned as he has still not made contact with her, saying it is dire to get her permission for him to represent her in court.

“It’s very important to get her signed power of attorney before the hearing starts on March 1 because we won’t be allowed to act as her defence counsels if we cannot file (it).”

“Then Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will be rid of her right of fair trial without a legal counsel.”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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