Prevent Myanmar crisis from worsening, UN envoy asks Thailand for help

Prevent Myanmar crisis from worsening, UN envoy asks Thailand for help  The UN Secretary-General's special envoy for Myanmar Noeleen Heyzer asked Thailand for help to prevent a worsening of the crisis in Myanmar, and welcomed assurances that refugees fleeing military operations would be protected by the Thai government.  Heyzer met with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha to ask for support for international efforts to help displaced people and in pressuring Myanmar's junta to commit to the five-point peace plan agreed with ASEAN.  "The prime minister has an important role to play in preventing a worsening of the crisis in Myanmar, as a collapse would bring further instability to an already volatile border area," Heyzer said in a statement on Monday.  Prayut, a retired general who led the coup in Thailand in 2014, said Myanmar's problems are complex and the situation must be addressed "in stages with understanding and through building trust with Myanmar's leadership."  Prayuth told Heyzer that Thailand has "humanitarian territory" and the refugees are being returned only on a voluntary basis.  Several international organizations have told Reuters that they do not have access to the area.  Ratchada Thanadirek, a government spokeswoman, declined to comment on access issues, but said Thailand was providing assistance based on international humanitarian principles.  Experts say long-standing relations between the Myanmar military and Thailand have been strained by criticism of the junta, over concerns that Thailand could be flooded with refugees if Myanmar's army steps up operations against its political opponents.  Thousands of Myanmar civilians have fled to Thailand since clashes near the border erupted after a coup in 2021. More than 1,300 people are still in shelters in Thailand, according to official government figures.  Myanmar's military has waged war in various areas since seizing power last year, using lethal force against protesters and stepping up operations against ethnic minority soldiers and newly formed militias allied with the ousted government.  The junta called the operation necessary to fight "terrorists".(Reuters)

Prevent Myanmar crisis from worsening, UN envoy asks Thailand for help


The UN Secretary-General's special envoy for Myanmar Noeleen Heyzer asked Thailand for help to prevent a worsening of the crisis in Myanmar, and welcomed assurances that refugees fleeing military operations would be protected by the Thai government.

Heyzer met with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha to ask for support for international efforts to help displaced people and in pressuring Myanmar's junta to commit to the five-point peace plan agreed with ASEAN.

"The prime minister has an important role to play in preventing a worsening of the crisis in Myanmar, as a collapse would bring further instability to an already volatile border area," Heyzer said in a statement on Monday.

Prayut, a retired general who led the coup in Thailand in 2014, said Myanmar's problems are complex and the situation must be addressed "in stages with understanding and through building trust with Myanmar's leadership."

Prayuth told Heyzer that Thailand has "humanitarian territory" and the refugees are being returned only on a voluntary basis.

Several international organizations have told Reuters that they do not have access to the area.

Ratchada Thanadirek, a government spokeswoman, declined to comment on access issues, but said Thailand was providing assistance based on international humanitarian principles.

Experts say long-standing relations between the Myanmar military and Thailand have been strained by criticism of the junta, over concerns that Thailand could be flooded with refugees if Myanmar's army steps up operations against its political opponents.

Thousands of Myanmar civilians have fled to Thailand since clashes near the border erupted after a coup in 2021. More than 1,300 people are still in shelters in Thailand, according to official government figures.

Myanmar's military has waged war in various areas since seizing power last year, using lethal force against protesters and stepping up operations against ethnic minority soldiers and newly formed militias allied with the ousted government.

The junta called the operation necessary to fight "terrorists".(Reuters)
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