Myanmar influx 'no cause for concern'

Myanmar influx 'no cause for concern'

TAK: Defence Minister Sutin Klungsang said on Friday that movements in Thailand against Myanmar's military regime are being monitored and are under control, adding that such activists should be treated differently from other Myanmar immigrants.

"Nothing is of particular concern at the moment, Mr Sutin said, adding that the number of Myanmar villagers fleeing into Thailand is not very high, and they are expected to return home soon.

Only those who have migrated to Thailand for a long time will stay, he said, adding there were no signs of a large spike in numbers despite the recent announcement by the Myanmar junta about compulsory military service for all young men and women.

Mr Sutin was speaking during a visit to a military outpost called Seksan in Ban Mae Kon Ken in the Mae Sot border district of Tak on Friday.

During the visit, the minister expressed sympathy and promised better fringe benefits for those soldiers, paramilitary officers and border police officers stationed in the border areas.

He said they work to not only ensure border security but also deal with other forms of transborder crime, such as drug smuggling.

"The Thai government and security authorities are closely monitoring movements on Thai soil by groups raising funds for fighting against the Myanmar government, which aren't at the moment seen as a significant threat or a pressing concern," he said.

The situation is under control, he said, adding it was important never to assume that all migrant workers from Myanmar are against their government, which could lead to prejudicial treatment against them.

The Thai government has in place specific mechanisms for dealing with these groups in the event further action is needed, he said.

In related news, the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) yesterday released a video clip recorded on Wednesday which showed a number of houses were on fire.

According to the KNDF, this was the result of an air strike by the Myanmar air force in Loikaw, the capital of Kayah State, which is also known as Karenni State.

Fighting continued until yesterday in Loikaw between militias sided with the KNDF and those allied with the Myanmar military, the KNDF said.

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