Addressing the pressing issue of delayed repatriation of Thai nationals, the Thai military is preparing to engage in conversation with their counterparts in Myanmar. A contingent of 41 Thais, having been rescued from unlawful operations in Laukkaing township, are awaiting the green light to return home. This inside scoop was divulged today by Colonel Natee Thomsen, the esteemed leader of the Pha Mueang Force, operating under the codename Thap Chao Tak Taskforce.
The focus of Colonel Natee’s anticipated dialogue with the strategic commander of Tachileik revolves around understanding and addressing the reasons behind the delay in repatriation. This discourse is also expected to shape strategies to fast-track the process, ensuring a swift and secure return of the Thai group. The Colonel underscored the readiness of the Thai side to offer complete cooperation with Myanmar to make this happen.
Further insights were shared regarding the Thai group’s journey from Laukkaing towards their homeland, mapping the pathway through the Thai border in Chiang Rai province. As of the present, the contingent is stationed in Kengtung, part of Myanmar’s Shan State, that is just a four-hour drive from Tachileik—the bordering town adjacent to Mae Sai district in Chiang Rai province. Late last Wednesday, our sources confirmed, the group safely reached Kengtung.
Colonel Natee provided assurances regarding the wellbeing of the group, emphasizing that the Myanmar military is responsible for their safety and care. However, before setting off the wheels for departure, Myanmar officials want to probe into their entry into Laukkaing—a region neighboring China, notorious for illicit activities.
In a previous discussion, Myanmar had assured that they would permit a Thai delegation to drive into Tachileik and pick up their countrymen once the necessary procedures with the Thai group are completed. The contingent of 41, consisting of 23 men and 18 women, is just a fraction of the total 162 Thais who were rescued from Laukkaing situated in the self-administered Kokang zone of Shan State—a story carried by Bangkok Post.
Speaking at the 37th Military Circle in the Mueang district of Chiang Rai, Colonel Natee Thimsen provided these updates to the press corps. The Thai government is currently coordinating the repatriation of the remaining 162 Thai individuals stranded in Myanmar’s Shan state, likely through Kunming, China, which is amidst the escalating conflict between Myanmar’s military government and local ethnic factions. Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story!