Fear at border as tension rise in Myanmar

Protesters in Tachilek near Mae Sot checkpoint have brought border trading to a stand-still on Sunday. (Photo:chiangraitimes.com)

Border police and immigration officers have ramped up border protocols in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province amid concern about a possible influx of Burmese protesters fleeing a crackdown by authorities in Tachilek province in Myanmar.

Immigration Bureau Commissioner Somgpong Chingduang said on Sunday immigration authorities at the Mae Sai checkpoint were ordered to monitor closely the situation in the nearby Myanmar town as tension rises between protesters and the military after its seizing of power on February 1.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Myawaddy town during the weekend, just opposite Mae Sot district of the Thai border. On Sunday, an undisclosed number of protesters rallied in Tachilek which resulted in a closure of checkpoints between the two countries for couple of hours before it was allowed to reopen for border trade.

Pol Lt Gen Sompong said Burmese protesters fleeing the Myanmar military will not be allowed to enter the kingdom, and if so, will be pushed back to their border immediately.

Original writer: Wassayos Ngamkham
Source: Bangkok Post