Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Need for political change in Burma for regional stability: Thai FM

Dhaka (Narinjara): Political change in military-ruled Myanmar was "very much needed" for regional stability, said Kasit Piromya Foreign Minister of Thailand yesterday.

Piromya was holding a joint-press briefing with Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Dipu Moni at the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry office in Dhaka yesterday. The Thai FM was on a two-day official visit.

"Changes in Myanmar are very much needed. It is not only a necessity for the security of Myanmar but also for all the neighbouring countries including Bangladesh and Thailand," Piromya said.

The Thai minister said changes in Myanmar would resolve the issues of internally displaced Myanmarese along the Bangladesh-Myanmar and Myanmar-Thailand borders.

He, however, avoided comment to the Press on the affect the trial of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi by the Burmese junta would have on regional stability.

U Maung Aye Chan, a senior Arakanese politician in Cox’sbazar said the Thai FM is also likely to discuss the trial of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Insein prison because ASEAN and other neighbours of Burma are being criticized by western countries and international human rights organizations for its failure to pressurize the Burmese military regime for political reforms.

Thailand has also been severely criticized by the international community and human rights organizations for putting Rogingya boat people, who come by boat, adrift at sea in engineless boats.

On the Rohingya issue, Piromya said that Thailand is ready to work with Bangladesh on repatriation of Rohingya refugees.

“It is a common problem for the two countries next to Myanmar,” Piromya said.

Both the foreign ministers felt that the two countries should convince the Burmese military authorities that the Bangladesh-Myanmar Road is "a more viable" route for the proposed Asian Highways to connect Thailand to western countries.

The Thai Foreign Minister added that Bangladesh and Thailand could easily be connected by road via Burma. The road will help the two countries economically.

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