Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said on Monday that he had pledged to Myanmar government leaders that Thailand would help in negotiations for the Karen National Union (KNU) ethnic minority group organisation to join Myanmar’s national reconciliation programme.Mr. Kasit said he had told Myanmar leaders that Thailand supported that country’s national reconciliation programme, while he was told that a general election would be held next year.
Only the KNU members have not yet participated in the national reconciliation programme and if persuasion with the ethnic minority group succeeds, the fighting between Myanmar and KNU militaries would be resolved, Mr. Kasit said.
The KNU is the only major ethnic group not to have concluded a ceasefire with the State Peace and Development Council and its separatist struggle is one of the world’s longest-running insurgencies.
Touching on the Rohingya boat people who have fled Myanmar-Bangladesh border for destinations in several countries in this region – with thousands now stranded in Thailand, Mr. Kasit said, investigations are made with the boat people on a regular basis and Thailand will focus on providing humanitarian assistance to these people. – (TNA)