Participating in a cross-border dialogue, army officials from Tachileik, Myanmar, have briefed Thai authorities about an important development. An investigation involving 41 Thai nationals, rescued from unlawful enterprises within the Laukkaing township, is said to have come to an end. This conclusion opens the window for their impending return to their homeland, foreseen to take place within the following days. This information was made public by the Thai armed forces.
The details came to light during a meeting between well-regarded military officials of both nations – Thai Army’s Col Nathee Thomsen of the Thap Chao Tak Taskforce, a contingent under the larger umbrella of the Pha Muang Force, and Myanmar’s Tachileik tactical operation commander, Col Thura Zaw Lwin Soe. The rendezvous took place within the boundary lines of the Tachileik customs checkpoint.
The Thai representatives intended to explore the root causes of the delay in the repatriation of the 41 Thai nationals and brainstorm ways to expedite the process with the Myanmar authorities.
As the discussions progressed, Colonel Nathee received affirmation from the Myanmar side regarding the imminent approval for repatriation of the Thai nationals. Once this gets the green light, the party will be relocated swiftly to the Tachileik-based Tactical Operation Command, which sits across the border from Myanmar’s Mae Sai district, positioned in Chiang Rai province. Thus, the returnees are to be received by Colonel Nathee.
Earlier that same day, Colonel Nathee had affirmed the total readiness on the Thai side to exchange dialogue and spirit of collaboration with the Myanmar authorities to guarantee the safe homecoming of their people.
It was shared that the group had made their journey from Laukkaing, headed for the Thai border via Chiang Rai province. During this time, they were housed in Kengtung, Shan State, which is a four-hour commute from Tachileik. Their arrival in Kengtung was marked late on a Wednesday night.
Colonel Nathee extended reassurance about the condition of the detainees, citing the good care provided by the Myanmar military. However, the Myanmar authorities had felt the need to question them about their entry into the Laukkaing region. Being a border town by China, it carries a reputation for illicit activities.
This piece of advice came from the Myanmar officials who stated that once the due process has been completed, the Thai representatives could drive over to Tachileik and collect their citizens.
The group comprises 41 Thais, 23 males, and 18 females. These individuals were a part of a larger group of 162 Thais that were rescued from Laukkaing, situated within the independently governed Kokang zone of Shan State.