Thursday, April 22, 2021

in-focus

Border areas under close watch as Myanmar Covid-19 and political situation worsens


Immigration Police chief Pol Lt-General Sompong Chingduang, together with high-level police officers, travelled to inspect the northern border checkpoint to plan preventive measures against the spread of Covid-19 from Myanmar, which is currently beset with pandemic and political problems.

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Thai authorities fear that Myanmar people might flee their country to escape suppression by the junta and cross over illegally into Thailand to Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son and Lamphun provinces.

On February 20, border trade in Mae Sai district reportedly was temporarily halted, with a goods vehicle from Thailand unable to reach Myanmar due to a rally against the coup. Protesters gathered at the border and placed a barrier to block the Tachileik checkpoint.

Sompong said yesterday there were heavy protests in Myanmar due to domestic political problems. Later, the Royal Thai Police Investigation and Security Department found that there might be a gathering of Burmese workers in the northern region, especially in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai provinces.

Pol General Suwat Jangyodsuk Commissioner of Royal Thai Police, ordered him to deal with situation.

Initially he had ordered Investigative Division 5 and Immigration Bureau to spread the news and talk to foreign workers about Thai law. They were told that any protests would lead to arrests.

Immigration Police are coordinating with military units along the border to patrol natural channels in Mae Sai district in Chiang Rai province, to prevent illegal entry into the country as he was afraid any outbreak of violence in Tachileik province on the Myanmar side might lead to an exodus.

There are still many foreign workers who want to escape and come to work in Thailand after the government closed the registration of foreign workers, officials said.

Published : February 21, 2021

By : The Nation