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Pattaya Daily News

08 November 2010 :: 13:11:49 pm 45568

Provocation at Mae Sot on The Thai-Burmese Border

The Thai-Burmese border town of Mae Sot is currently a hot spot; the scene of a protest of Burmese migrants, and the entry point of a Japanese journalist who sneaked in to observe the forbidden Burmese general election, on Sunday, as well as being the recipient of a stray grenade from a Burmese Army-rebel confrontation, today, leading to the deployment of a Thai Army contingent.
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November 8. The Burmese general election is causing blood to boil. The Burmese Army-rebel confrontations are intensifying along the border and over 50 Burmese migrant workers demonstrated briefly in Mae Sot on Sunday, Nov7, protesting against the Burmese general election and demanding that the military junta release their beloved Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest.

The protest went off peaceably; its message concentrating on urging their compatriots not to accept the results of the Burmese general election, which they labelled a ‘sham, intended to strengthen the military’s rule over the country, as well as demanding that Aung San Suu Kyi be released immediately from her lengthy house arrest. Mrs Suu Kyi is the leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD), which won the previous general election in 1990, but she was never allowed to assume office. The Nobel Peace Prize winner has been under house arrest for nearly 14 out of the past 20 years. The Junta has promised to release soon after the election.

A 46-year-old Asia Press Front Japanese journalist also used the Mae Sot border crossing on Sunday to gain entry to Burma, surreptitiously. His intention was to observe the Burmese general election, from which international monitors and foreign journalists have been banned. He is currently in custody at Myawaddy Police Station, having had all his possessions confiscated, and is likely to be prosecuted for immigration violations. Following his arrest, the Burmese imposed a clampdown on the border crossing, refusing to allow Burmese-Thai cross-border traffic and suspending commercial traffic via ports along the Moei River. The Burmese also beefed up their military presence along the immediate Burmese side of the border in Myawaddy.

The Thai Army has also deployed troops on the Thai side in Mae Sot. This followed fighting between a breakaway Karen rebel group and the Burmese Army in Myawaddy, today, Nov8, when the rebels took over the police station and post office in protest at the election. The rebels, part of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) were attacked by the Burmese Army, early this morning, according to Mae Sot district chief Kittisak Thomornsak. He reported: ‘One M79 grenade exploded on the Thai side of the border, injuring one person.’

The Burmese Army wanted various ethnic rebel groups to join forces with them and become border guards, but the DKBA ‘ splinter group, Brigade 5, under the command of Saw Lah Pwe refused. Other rebel groups that have refused to submit to the military, include the armies of Kachin Independence, United Wa State, Shan State, New Mon State and the Karen National Liberation Army. As a result, the Junta refused to allow 400,000 inhabitants in the rebel-controlled parts of Kachin, Karen, Wa and Shan states to vote.

Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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