Four-point plan for crisis in Myanmar

Four-point plan for crisis in Myanmar

Govt urged to step up peace mediation

People walk with placards and flags during a public rally held for the Myanmar community in Australia calling for ASEAN to not support the Myanmar Military Junta, outside the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit venue, in Melbourne, Australia March 4, 2024. (Reuters photo)
People walk with placards and flags during a public rally held for the Myanmar community in Australia calling for ASEAN to not support the Myanmar Military Junta, outside the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit venue, in Melbourne, Australia March 4, 2024. (Reuters photo)

The House committee on foreign affairs has put forward a four-point action plan to help solve the crisis in Myanmar.

Noppadon Pattama, chairman of the committee and MP for the Pheu Thai Party, said the panel has been monitoring the situation in Myanmar and backs all efforts to end the crisis.

He said that the committee has come up with a four-point proposal which would help the government provide a coordinated response.

First, the government should set up a special panel comprising security and foreign affairs officials to monitor the situation and work out a comprehensive response, he said.

Second, a contingency plan should be put in place to address any possible escalation in fighting which could prompt an increase in people seeking refuge in the border provinces.

The fighting is expected to escalate as Myanmar will ramp up conscription in April, he said.

Third, the government should expand the distribution of humanitarian aid to cover all people affected by the conflict, rather than limiting it to 10,000 individuals sheltering in three villages. Asean should also be involved to ensure comprehensive assistance, he said.

"Thailand should also play a leading role in solving the crisis in Myanmar, stepping up its efforts beyond the role of facilitator," he said.

Last but not least, the country should advocate for peace in Myanmar by establishing "Myanmar Troika Plus", a group comprising Thailand, the chair of Asean, China and India to push for sustainable peace in Myanmar. The troika would be an informal consultation mechanism, he said.

Mr Noppadon said the proposed mechanism is in line with Asean's five-point peace plan which includes calls for an end to hostilities, dialogue between all parties and the granting of full humanitarian access to Myanmar.

"We are not short of ideas, but we must step up our efforts. The conflict in Myanmar is complex, but it is not too difficult for Asean and Thailand to push for peace. If we can achieve this, Thailand will gain global recognition," Mr Noppadon, a former foreign minister, said.

Earlier, the government had agreed to set up a humanitarian corridor on the border with Myanmar to help those displaced by the fighting inside the country. The initiative, endorsed by Asean foreign ministers and a representative from Myanmar's junta, will allow the Thai and Myanmar Red Cross to deliver supplies under the supervision of Asean's humanitarian aid body. The first convoy of humanitarian aid will enter Myanmar on March 25 via the 2nd Thai-Myanmar Bridge in Tak's Mae Sot district.

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