Thailand not to force Myanmar people back until situation eases: Acting gov't spokesman

16:19, November 09, 2010      

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Thailand will not forcibly push some 20,000 Myanmar people who fled fighting between ethnic militants and Myanmar government troops back to their homeland until the situation eases, acting Thai government spokesman said Tuesday.

Acting government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn made the remarks after Myanmar people living along the Thai-Myanmar border fled into Thai territory on Monday following clashes between the Myanmar military forces and ethnic Karen militants at the Myanmar border town of Myawaddy after its first election in 20 years on Sunday.

Panitan said nearly 20,000 Myanmar have sought shelter in Thailand now and the Thai officials have provided them basic humanitarian aid.

"Initially, the situation has not yet eased, Thailand will not push these people back to Myanmar," a local website quoted the spokesman as saying.

Panitan, also deputy secretary general to the prime minister, said Thailand has experience in handling this kind of situation and will not seek help from international organizations although there are some problems regarding the temporary accommodation.

The government spokesman also warned local residents to evacuate from the fighting areas for their safety, adding that the Myanmar forces are now retaking the areas back from the ethnic minority.

Source: Xinhua

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