Thai government urged to prepare for Myanmar refugee influx

Photo courtesy of Prachachart Business News

In anticipation of a potential surge in refugees from Myanmar, a security expert called on the Thai government to take immediate action by establishing a safety zone or humanitarian corridor near the Thai-Myanmar border.

Associate Professor Panitan Wattanayagorn, speaking to Thai PBS, warned of intensified fighting between government troops and rebel forces during the upcoming dry season, fuelled by Myanmar’s mandatory conscription announcement.

According to Wattanayagorn, mandatory conscription in Myanmar, targeting all men aged 18-35 and women aged 18-27, with extended service for professionals, could drive up to 10,000 people to seek refuge in Thailand. Many Burmese have already fled to Thailand to escape conscription, with some opting for property investments in Bangkok and sending their children to study in Thai international schools.

However, Wattanayagorn criticised the Thai government’s apparent lack of preparedness, stressing the need for coordination between military and interior ministries to establish safety zones. He urged the Foreign Ministry to engage with ASEAN countries to address the Myanmar crisis collectively, reported Thai PBS World.

In the event of refugee camps being established, Wattanayagorn insisted that Thailand should seek financial assistance from ASEAN partners to share the burden of accommodating refugees. As tensions escalate across the border, decisive action is imperative to mitigate the humanitarian crisis looming over Thailand.

In related news, in a bold move challenging the Myanmar junta’s objections, Thai politicians kickstarted a two-day seminar delving into Myanmar’s political turmoil. Despite diplomatic tensions, the event aims to foster dialogue among stakeholders.

Move Forward Party (MFP) member Rangsiman Rome, leading the House Committee on National Security, initiated the seminar with a vision of promoting peace and sustainability in Myanmar’s political landscape.

In other news, Myanmar’s military regime delivered a staggering blow, sentencing three high-ranking officers to death for overseeing the handover of a crucial town on the Chinese border to ethnic minority insurgents in January.

Bangkok NewsPolitics NewsThailand News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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