Cordial relations between Thailand and Myanmar will facilitate an early return of the Thais held for encroachment, Army chief Prayuth Chan-ochai said yesterday.
“This case should serve as a lesson that whenever we are in our neighbour’s territory, we must respect their rules,” he said.
General Prayuth said he would discuss border problems with Lt-General Udomchai Thamsarorach, chief of the Fourth Army Area, particularly about residents’ misunderstanding of the regulations and conditions for working in Myanmar.
The 49 detainees – 41 men and eight women – are safe, he said. The Thai military mission that visited them provided them food and took care of them as fully as possible. There was no clash as had been reported.
During the operation to arrest the 49 Thais, the Myanmar authorities discovered military weapons, so more talks were needed as that country’s law imposes severe penalties in such cases. The Thais are being held in custody but are not yet charged with any offence, Prayuth said.