PRIME Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday proposed setting up a joint working group on the repatriation of “displaced people”, in a camp in Tak border province. He also told visiting Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi there would be more measures
But Thailand would not send refugees back unless Myanmar was ready to take them, Prayut told a joint press conference after meeting |Suu Kyi. Thailand has sheltered |more than 100,000 refugees from Myanmar in nine camps in four border provinces over the past three decades, after they fled from civil war and political conflict at home.
Suu Kyi cancelled a plan to visit refugees in the Ban Tham Hin camp in Ratchaburi due to bad weather. Instead, the Nobel laureate will have a meeting with Myanmar students in Bangkok today before finishing her official visit, an informed source said.
Suu Kyi, who is also foreign minister, arrived in Bangkok last Thursday for a three-day official visit. On her first day she went to Mahachai in Samut Sakhon, where she was greeted by thousands of Myanmar workers despite heavy rain.
Suu Kyi told the press yesterday that many people who she has met on the streets in Myanmar told her they are in need of work. “I would like to thank Thailand for helping take care and provide protection for Myanmar workers. We appreciate Thailand creating jobs for our people.”
Prayut said Thailand has implemented several measures to provide good care and protection for foreign workers including those from Myanmar. The Thai government would take more measures to improve the lives of foreign workers, he said.
Both leaders described relations as being excellent and agreed that both countries, which share a common border, would work together so that their people can enjoy prosperity together.
In the morning, Suu Kyi gave a lecture entitled ‘Myanmar, Asean and the World: The Way Forward’ at the Foreign Ministry, in which she said the younger generation holds the key to Asean’s future.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Sek Wannamethee said the audience was about 300 students from various Thai universities, including Chulalongkorn and Thammasat, who registered online with the ministry to join the session. The gathering included some 20 Myanmar students who are studying in Thailand, Sek said, adding that it was Suu Kyi’s wish to meet and talk with the younger generation of Thais.
Suu Kyi told the audience the next generation of Asean people was very important and they should help enforce the group’s solidarity so that it can move forward together with strong cooperation, the spokesman said.
Sek said Suu Kyi was asked about the peace process in Myanmar and she replied that in general one had to look at the causes of problems, in order to resolve an issue.