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Government has repatriation plan for Thai citizens if Burmese situation deteriorates

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Wikimedia

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it has formulated a plan to evacuate Thai citizens from Myanmar should the situation deteriorate further. Spokesman Tanee Sangrat says the Thai Embassy in Yangon has confirmed that protests against the ruling junta are ongoing, but deliveries of food have not been affected. According to a report in the Bangkok Post, Tanee says the government is keeping an eye on things in the neighbouring country but doesn’t feel there’s any need to repatriate Thai citizens at this time.

He says Airbull Suttiwan from the Royal Thai Air Force has ordered crew at Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport to prepare a fleet of transport aircraft in the event that Thai citizens need to be brought home.

“The air force chief gave the instruction once the protests against the military coup began in Myanmar. The aircraft will fly off immediately at the behest of the government.”

Tanee says the Thai government is concerned about the violence in Myanmar, along with reports of more casualties. He says they have asked their Burmese counterparts to refrain from using violence against the protesters and to release more detainees. He adds that Thailand continues to work closely with other ASEAN members to find a solution to the conflict in Myanmar and to bring peace to the country’s citizens.

Addressing the issue of Burmese refugees arriving in Thailand, he says the country is experienced in dealing with refugees in accordance with humanitarian principles. It’s understood injured refugees are being admitted to Thai hospitals for treatment. As of Wednesday, 2,788 refugees had fled into Thailand, but of those, Tanee says 2,572 have already returned home. He denies reports that appeared in some media outlets, both here and internationally, that alleged they were forced to return. He says of the 216 refugees that remain, most are women, children, and elderly people. They have all tested negative for Covid-19.

Thousands of ethnic Karen were forced to flee Myanmar when the Burmese military launched an air strike on their village, which is located in an area controlled by the Karen National Union. The KNU is an armed political group that campaigns for the self-determination of the Karen people and has been fighting the Burmese government since the country gained independence from Britain.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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1 Comment

1 Comment

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    Edward Reumann

    Friday, April 2, 2021 at 10:54 am

    Curious how they plan on evacuating Thai citizens. Is there a plan in motion to test each and everyone of these citizens, before boarding them onto planes to return to Thailand? Country still feeling the affects of Burmese immigrants crossing the border illegally. Thailand has done too well to keep Covid under check, to lose it now!

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