Statement 168 Views

How Thai Government Should Respond to the Situation at the Border

April 9th, 2024  •  Author:   Milk Tea Alliance (Thailand)  •  3 minute read
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The recent events unfolding in Myanmar, particularly in the town of Myawaddy, adjacent to the Mae Sot District in Tak Province, Thailand, have raised significant concerns. Reports indicate that on April 7, 2024, the Karen National Union (KNU) and the People’s Defense Force (PDF) seized control of Myawaddy, including the capture of the Burmese Army’s tactical headquarters and the invasion of the area occupied by the 275th Battalion, the largest military base of the Burmese Army in Myawaddy town.

Furthermore, on the same day, reports emerged regarding the landing of a plane from the Burmese junta at Mae Sot International Airport. There has been speculation regarding the purpose of this flight, with some reports suggesting it may involve the transfer of weapons and military personnel from the Burmese army or the transfer of junta property from occupied territories.

In response to these developments, the Thai government held a press conference on April 8, 2024. Mr Thanawat Sirikul, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Information and Deputy Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated that the flight in question was for civilians, and subsequent flights have been cancelled.

Considering recent events concerning the situation in Myanmar and its implications for Thailand, Milk Tea Alliance Thailand issues the following demands to the Thai government:

  1. Withhold the assistance provided to the Burmese Army: We call upon the Thai government to withhold all forms of assistance provided to the Burmese Army. Burmese Army is the active armed organisation in Myanmar that is conducting indiscriminate attacks on civilians and its infrastructure. Supporting the Junta in Myanmar will make Thailand complicit in their war crimes. Regarding the agreed military aid or humanitarian support, the nature and extent of such aid must be disclosed to the public.
  2. Support for International Humanitarian Law: The Thai government must actively advocate for the Burmese military’s adherence to international humanitarian law, as outlined in the four Geneva Conventions. All parties involved in the conflict must uphold principles of humanitarian law, particularly in protecting civilians and respecting their rights.
  3. Inclusive Peace Negotiations: We urge the Thai government to refrain from exclusively supporting peace negotiations that cater to the demands of the Burmese military. Instead, we advocate for inclusive dialogue that involves all stakeholders, including ethnic armed forces and the People’s Defense Force (PDF). These negotiations should be guided by principles of justice, accountability, and human rights, ensuring a sustainable and equitable resolution to the conflict.
  4. Protection of Civilian Refugees: The Thai government has a moral obligation to assist civilian refugees fleeing conflict in Myanmar, according to human rights principles. Refugees must not be subjected to danger, refoulement, and exploitation, and adequate measures must be implemented to prevent any such occurrences. The Thai government must uphold its responsibility to protect vulnerable populations and provide them with the necessary support and care.

Milk Tea Alliance Thailand hopes that the Thai government will heed these demands to ensure that all civilians are treated with human rights and that the military, which is responsible for coups, genocides, and other crimes, must be held accountable and punished according to the law.

Milk Tea Alliance Thailand
9 April 202

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