Published: 10/05/2012 at 03:44 PM
Online news: Security
MYANMAR – Maj Gen Na Kham Mwe, leader of a Karen rebel group and Thailand’s fifth-most wanted drug kingpin, says will not surrender to Thai authorities because he has not done anything wrong.
The Karen rebel leader’s comment was in response to Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung’s request that Myanmar authorities arrest him and allow his extradition to Thailand to face charges.
He was speaking at a press briefing at his rebel headquarters, across the border from Phop Phra district in Tak province.
“There’ll be more measures against Thailand. I’ve never done anything wrong and I’ll never surrender,” said the senior leader of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA).
He said these measures will affect trade and investment, but there will be no use of weapons and violent activities.
The DKBA closed several border crossings in Tak province to Thai nationals in response to Mr Chalerm’s move.
Na Kham Mwe said Thai and Myanmar officials can come and investigate drug trafficking along the border, but their safety will not be guaranteed.
“I want to ask Chalerm why has he not arrested former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra following the court’s ruling, or does Thai law have no meaning?” he said.
Mr Chalerm said in response he would not argue with Na Kham Mwe, but Thai authorities would continue seek his extradition and prosecution.
“If Maj Gen Na Kham Mwe insists that he is not guilty, he can petition the Thai court to withdraw the warrant out for him.
“However he will be arrested immediately if he enters Thailand,” said the deputy premier overseeing drug and crime suppression.
He said the Myanmar government had cooperated well with Thailand and would not allow the Karen rebel leader to close the Thai-Myanmar border in Tak province.
“Thaksin and Maj Gen Na Kham Mwe are two different cases and they can’t be compared,” Mr Chalerm added.