Myanmar worried political conflict will affect its tourism industry

national January 28, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Myanmar has expressed concern that its tourism industry might be negatively affected by the prolonged political turmoil in Thailand.

Thai Ambassador Pisanu Suvanajata said the Myanmar government has called for an end to the political conflict. It also hopes that the bilateral projects would not come to an end despite the slowdown in some programmes, including the training of Myanmar people in Thailand. 
Thailand has served as a springboard for travellers to neighbouring countries, including Myanmar.
However, he said, the number of Thais travelling to Myanmar had not dropped. 
Separately, the US has also expressed concern over the rising political tensions, saying that it was not taking any sides and fully supported the expression of fundamental rights. 
The US is also calling on all sides to refrain from violence, exercise restraint and respect the rule of the law, Jen Psaki, spokesperson for the State Department, said. “The United States is deeply troubled by efforts to block polls and otherwise prevent voting in Thailand, and by the most recent acts of political violence.
“While we do not take sides in the political dispute and strongly support freedom of expression and the right to peaceful protest, preventing citizens from voting violates their universal right and is inconsistent with democratic values,” she said. 
“We call upon all sides to uphold international norms that guarantee freedom of the press and the safety of journalists.”

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