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Family of Burmese rebel leader arrested in Thailand

Jack Burton

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Family of Burmese rebel leader arrested in Thailand | The Thaiger
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PHOTO: Major General Tun Myat Naing and his wife Ma Hnin Zar Phyu – The Irrawaddy

Thai Immigration police arrested the wife and children of a top commander, Major General Tun Myat Naing of the Arakan Army, an active insurgent group fighting for greater autonomy in western Myanmar. Officials at the Thai Immigration Bureau’s Chiang Mai office arrested Ma Hnin Zar Phyu when she went there to extend her visa on December 4. She, and the two children, were sent to the border town of Mae Sai, in Thailand’s Chiang Rai province, on Friday afternoon. From there the three are expected to be transferred across the border to Tachileik Township in Myanmar’s Shan State, where Burmese Special Branch Police are awaiting their arrival.

“Thai officials said she had been charged with illegal entry because Burmese authorities have revoked her passport.”

Rakhine state, also known as Arakan, is in Myanmar’s west. It came to global attention when 730,000 Rohingya Muslims fled to Bangladesh to escape a Burmese military crackdown in 2017.

In recent months, civilians there have been caught in the crossfire between the Burmese military and the Arakan Army. According to the UN, more than 35,000 people have been displaced just this year.

Myanmar has designated the Arakan Army a terrorist organisation.

In July, Singapore deported a group of Burmese nationals with links to the Arakan Army over “security concerns”. Meanwhile, the head of the Arakan Information Centre says he is deeply concerned by Hnin Zar Phyu’s arrest.

Nyi Nyi Lwin told reporters that the mother and children should not be deported to Myanmar because she will be arrested, jailed and persecuted,”

“Arresting Tun Myat Naing’s wife is not good. It will create more conflict between the Rakhine people and the government and the Tatmadaw (Burmese army). It will never end, it will go on and on.”

Bilateral ceasefire talks between the Arakan Army and the government have been on hold since mid-September, when an alliance of three militias connected to the AA attacked a military technological academy in Pyin Oo Lwin in Mandalay Region, and police checkpoints in the Shan State.

SOURCES: Reuters | The Irrawaddy

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Crime

Kanchanaburi police officer’s twin sons arrested for trafficking methamphetamines

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Kanchanaburi police officer’s twin sons arrested for trafficking methamphetamines | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Matichon News

Twin sons of a Thai police officer have been arrested and charged with trafficking methamphetamine, according to Thai-language daily Matichon. The arrests were made yesterday.

Thai army and border patrol Police stopped a car driven by the two 20 year old twins at a routine checkpoint in western Thailand. A routine search of the vehicle uncovered 2,000 methamphetamine tables in 4 separate containers.

The twins told police that a Burmese person told him to fetch the drugs from the Phaya Tongsoo Village in Myanmar, just across the border from the Sangkhlaburi district in Kanchanburi A Burmese man later took one of the twins across the border to a temple, where he received 2,000 methamphetamine pills.

The father of the twins is a Thai police officer who had served in Sangkhla Buri and Thong Phapoom districts in Kanchanaburi. He is now working at the Office of Police Region 9, accord to Matichon News.

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Thailand

Migrant workers risk losing their legal status, the Cabinet to extend work permit amnesty

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Migrant workers risk losing their legal status, the Cabinet to extend work permit amnesty | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Frontier Myanmar

Over 1.7 million migrant workers in Thailand are going to lose their legal working status because they can’t submit work permit renewal and a health certificate with Covid-19 test results in time. The Labour Ministry then proposes the cabinet will extend the registration period (amnesty) for migrant workers to help maintain their legal status. Migrant workers, including those illegal and unemployed workers, are required to register with authorities via the ministry’s website from January 15 until February 13.

According to the Labour Minister, every migrant worker to renew their work permit must receive a Covid-19 test at hospitals designated by the Public Health Ministry. The Department of Medical Sciences will be responsible for the testing costs.

Illegal and unemployed workers, who registered with the Ministry, will be allowed to stay in the Kingdom for 2 years without penalties. Only those migrant workers from Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar are allowed to overstay their current visas, but are required to register with the provincial employment office in the area they work, as part of the amnesty.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Myanmar cancels Thai investment in the Dawei Special Economic Zone

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Myanmar cancels Thai investment in the Dawei Special Economic Zone | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Environment Justice Atlas

The Dawei Special Economic Zone Management Committee has announced the cancellation on the deep seaport project contract with Italian-Thai Development (ITD), one of Thailand’s leading industrial firms, by saying that they “lost confidence” in the company after long, controversial issues.

The Dawei Special Economic Zone Management Committee said that the Thai company has caused them “repeated delays, continuing breaches of financial obligations under the contracts and the concessionaires’ failure to confirm their financial capacity to proceed with development”.

They say they will look for new development partners to continue the projects. Currently, there are still no comments from ITD.

The Dawei Special Economic Zone is Myanmar’s initiative to encourage international investments into the country, but the project has been delayed because of funding problems and local opposition.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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