The Thailand army has recently put into gear the plans of involving Myanmar in discussions over why the return process of 41 recently-rescued Thai individuals has been experiencing delays. The individuals were rescued from unauthorized operations in Myanmar’s Laukkaing township, as divulged by Colonel Natee Thomsen, who holds the position of the commander at the Thap Chao Tak Taskforce division of the prominent Pha Mueang Force.
With the goal of comprehending the reasons for the delay in repatriation, Colonel Natee aims to liaise with Tachileik’s strategic commander. In addition, he will delve into possibilities aimed at speeding up the process to ensure the safe repatriation of the Thais. Colonel Natee, representing the Thai side, expressed eagerness for comprehensive collaboration with Myanmar’s authorities.
He unveiled the information that the Thai group, consisting of 41 individuals, had made significant headway from Laukkaing towards the Thai border, specifically in the Chiang Rai province. Their current location is Kengtung, a part of Shan State, located only four hours away from Tachileik by road. Tachileik is a border town situated opposite Mae Sai district, a part of Chiang Rai province.
Witnessing the group’s arrival in Kengtung late at night on Wednesday, Colonel Natee gave assurances about their well-being in the care of the Myanmar military. However, he added that the Myanmar authorities are interested in conducting an inquiry about the group’s entry into Laukkaing, a region bordering China, before their departure. The said region is infamous for illicit activities.
Colonel Natee also mentioned that Myanmar authorities previously reassured the Thailand officials that once the return procedures concerning the Thais were finalized, they would be allowed to drive into Tachileik to facilitate the pickup. The group of 41 individuals, comprising 23 males and 18 females, are part of a larger total of 162 Thais who were rescued from Laukkaing, in the autonomously administered Kokang area of Shan State. This was as per the report in the Bangkok Post.
Colonel Thimsen shared this news with reporters at Chiang Rai’s 37th Military Circle situated in the Mueang district. Amidst the rising conflict between the military regime of Myanmar and the local ethnocentric factions, the Thai government is orchestrating the repatriation of the 162 Thai nationals stranded in Myanmar’s Shan state through Kunming, China.
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