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Pattaya Daily News

05 January 2011 :: 15:01:03 pm 48580

Karenni man frees Thai hostage at UN Mae Sot refugee office

MAE SOT, Jan 4 - A Karenni man on Monday held a Thai man hostage outside the office of the United Nations' High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the Thai-Myanmar border town of Mae Sot. The hostage-taker demanded ‘real democracy’ in Myanmar, but later freed the hostage after hour-long negotiations.
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The 36-year-old Karenni man, who said he was a soldier of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) carrying a hand grenade in each hand, held 53-year-old motorcycle taxi driver Roj Laowan as hostage Tuesday morning.

Mr Roj said that he was hired by the hostage taker to go to the UN office before his passenger used hand grenades to take him as hostage.

Mae Sot district chief Kittisak Tomornsak and police negotiated with the DKBA soldier, later identified as Saw Tami, for an hour until he agreed to free the Thai hostage and handed in the grenades to the Thai authorities.

The Thai hostage told police that he was hired by his Karenni client to drive him to the UNHCR office but later was held hostage.

Upon surrender, he submitted a complaint letter saying that the DKBA forces will not be submissive to the Myanmar troops and become Border Guard Force (BGF) for the Myanmar government

He said that several ethnic groups did not accept the result of the general election held on Nov 7, 2010 as it was not fair and transparent.

The letter also stated that the Nov 7 election cannot solve the problems in the military-ruled country while urging the UN to help establish true democracy in Myanmar.

It was reported that Saw Tami was initially charged with illegal entry to the Thai kingdom and possession of military weaponry.

The Tuesday hostage incident occurred two months after clashes between the Myanmar armed forces and a splinter faction of the DKBA erupted at the Myanmar border town of Myawaddy just one day after its first election in 20 years, forcing a large number of Karen people fleeing the fighting to cross the border into Thailand. (MCOT online news)

Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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