Bangkok Post - Friday, November 07, 2003
Rangoon 'should not be humiliated'
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra yesterday dismissed US human rights
advocate Jesse Jackson's call for international pressure on Burma,
saying Thailand will not press Rangoon to restore democracy and release
opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Post Though agreeing with Mr Jackson that Ms Suu Kyi should be
released, the premier said Thailand preferred not to apply pressure.
Jackson made the call on the United States, the United Nations and
Thailand to pressure Rangoon, during his visit to Baan Pang Khwai Karen
refugee camps in Mae Hong Son on Wednesday
Thaksin said after meeting with Rev Jackson at Government House that
the government had the same goal as the international community to push
for the freedom of Aung San Suu Kyi as well as reunification, ceasefire
and democracy in Burma.
However, methods must be different because Thailand was a neighbour of Burma and could not be outspoken.
[Burma] has pride to care about. We cannot apply pressure. Without
pressure, she will agree. There must be peaceful means. Obvious
pressure will humiliate Burma,'' he said.
''Burma can free Mrs Aung San Suu Kyi any time. But it cares about who will get the credit,'' Mr Thaksin said.
Thaksin will visit Burma on Nov 10-12 during which he will meet Burmese
Prime Minister Khin Nyunt and chief of the ruling State Peace and
Development Council Than Shwe.
civil rights activist, accompanied by his wife, children and religious
leaders, visited the refugee camp to talk to village committee members,
youth and non-governmental organisation staff.
promised to seek financial support from the global community for
Thailand to take care of refugees in Mae Hong Son and Tak. Baan Pang
Khwai shelter houses 3,808 families or 18,256 Karen refugees who have
been in Thailand for about eight years.