Thaksin only wants peace at Thai-Myanmar border: Paetongtarn


Pheu Thai leader Paetongtarn Shinawatra on Tuesday defended her father, former Prime Minister Thaksin, for holding discussions with resistance groups in Myanmar, saying he was promoting peace at Thai-Myanmar border using personal relationships.

Thaksin recently met representatives of the Kachin National Organisation and the National Unity Government to try and resolve the ongoing armed conflict in Thailand’s western neighbour, according to a VOA Burmese report on May 6.

After the meeting, Thaksin reportedly met leaders of the Shan State Reconstruction Council and Shan State Army, VOA Burmese added.

The former PM’s action has been criticised by several parties in Thailand, prompting the House committee on national security and border affairs to launch an investigation.

Responding to committee chairman Rangsiman Rome’s comment that Thaksin’s actions may cause confusion over Thailand’s international policy as he holds no position in the government, Paetongtarn said Thaksin “only acted as a Thai citizen who is concerned about his country”.

“Even after living abroad for 17 years, he still cares about Thai people, and wants to do whatever he can to help,” Paetongtarn said.

She went on to say that although Thaksin has no current position in the government, he still has personal relationships with Myanmar’s ethnic groups and military that he built while cracking down on cross-border drug gangs during his term as Thai PM (2001-2006).

“As prime minister, Thaksin enjoyed positive relationships with neighbouring countries, especially Myanmar which shares over 2,000 kilometres of border with Thailand. He wants to see peace in these areas,” she said.

Paetongtarn added that she did not know the result of the talks as she had not spoken with her father yet.

However, sources from Myanmar ethnic groups revealed on May 8 that the groups had rejected Thaksin’s offer to act as a mediator in peace talks between all factions in Myanmar.