Thailand prepares for Myanmar refugee influx

Parnpree: 'Border stays open for now'
Parnpree: 'Border stays open for now'

Thailand is prepared to accept 100,000 refugees fleeing fighting in Myanmar after rebel forces seized control of Myawaddy, a border town opposite Tak's Mae Sot district, according to Foreign Affairs Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara.

Mr Parnpree said the government had made necessary preparations to accommodate an influx of refugees in safe areas temporarily.

"If the number of people fleeing the conflict exceeds 100,000, agencies concerned have assured us that they can still manage the situation," he said, noting the Foreign Affairs Ministry plans to hold talks with other countries to seek assistance if needed.

A meeting was held to assess the situation in the neighbouring country after the Myanmar government sought permission for Thailand to allow three special flights from Yangon to Mae Sot from Sunday to Tuesday to evacuate Myanmar military officials and their families to safe areas.

Mr Parnpree said the Thai-Myanmar border remains open, but if the fighting disrupts the transportation of goods, routes will be shifted to other border provinces, such as Ranong.

Mr Parnpree insisted the government allowed Myanmar aircraft to land in Mae Sot district for humanitarian reasons, following a request made through the Myanmar embassy in Thailand.

He went on to say that the request was for the transport of civilians and documents, not military personnel, weapons or cash assets from state bank branches in Myawaddy, as reported by some media outlets.

According to the Karen Information Center, the Sunday flight from Mae Sot to Yangon was reportedly used to transport money from the Myanmar Economic Bank in Myawaddy and other private banks in the town back to Yangon.

On Monday the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Myanmar government cancelled the remaining flights to Mae Sot originally scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.

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  • accommodate: to prepare what is needed for something - ปรับตัว
  • border: the official line separating two areas, regions or countries - เขตแดน อาณาเขต
  • cancel (verb): to decide to stop something that has been arranged from taking place - ยกเลิก
  • conflict: an angry disagreement between people or groups - ความขัดแย้ง
  • disrupt: to interrupt something and prevent it from continuing by creating a problem - ได้รับการกระทบกระเทือน  ถูกทำให้หยุดชะงัก
  • evacuate: to cause to leave a place because it is not safe - เคลื่อนย้ายออกจาก
  • humanitarian: relating to efforts to help people who are living in very bad conditions and are suffering because of a war, flood, earthquake etc - มีมนุษยธรรม
  • influx: a large number of people or things coming in to a place - การหลั่งไหล การไหลบ่า  (เข้าไปยังที่ใดที่หนึ่ง)
  • permission: allowing someone to do something - การอนุญาต,การอนุมัติ,การยินยอม
  • personnel: the people who are employed in a company, organization or one of the armed forces - บุคลากร, เจ้าหน้าที่, พนักงาน
  • rebel: of people who try to remove a government or leader by force - ผู้ก่อกบฏ
  • refugee: someone who leaves their country or living place, especially during a war or other threatening event - ผู้ลี้ภัย
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