Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thai PM proposes visit to Burma

by Mizzima News
Thursday, 09 July 2009 15:20

New Delhi (mizzima) - Thailand’s Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjejiva proposes to visit neighbouring military-ruled Burma later this month, sources in the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The PM, according to a ministry official, has sounded out the Burmese junta on his visit as the current rotating Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), of which Burma is also a member.

“It will be at a convenient date for both sides [Thailand and Burma]. It is tentatively planned but so far there is no response from the Burmese government,” the official told Mizzima on Thursday.

The official, however, declined from commenting on the purpose of the Thai Premier’s proposed visit.

Meanwhile, sources said Burma’s military rulers are unhappy with Thailand for its sharp reaction over the trial of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi at a special court in Rangoon’s Insein prison.

Following the framing of charges and trial against the Burmese Nobel Peace Laureate, Thailand, as the Chair of the Asean issued a statement expressing ‘grave concern’ over the developments in its member state, and said the ‘honour and credibility’ of Burma is at stake.

"The Government of the Union of Myanmar [Burma], as a responsible member of ASEAN, has the responsibility to protect and promote human rights," Thailand said on behalf of the group.

In retaliation, Burma’s military regime ran commentary pieces on its state-run newspapers accusing Thailand and the Asean of interfering in its internal affairs and justifying its action of charging and conducting a trial against Aung San Suu Kyi.

The visit of Vejjejiva could be diplomatic protocol as the new Prime Minister, sources in the Thai government said.

Reporting by Solomon, writing by Mungpi

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