Koh Tao murders: Thai PM told of Burma's concerns

Koh Tao murders: Thai PM told of Burma's concerns

Burma’s Upper House Speaker Khin Aung Myint expressed his concerns to Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha about the Koh Tao murder case when the pair met on Monday.

“U Khin Aung Myint told the Thai premier that this case is important for relations between two countries, said Htoo Chit, a member of the Burmese embassy team following the case.

“According to U Ko Ko Maung [MP and advisor to the house speaker’s delegation in Thailand], Khin Aung Myint spoke strongly about the investigation. He urged Prime Minister Prayuth to help ensure the trial is concluded according to law. He said that people in Myanmar, including many within the government, are seriously concerned about the fate of the two suspects. He reiterated that the handling of the case could hurt the long-term friendship between Thailand and Myanmar.”

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Prayuth reportedly asked Khin Aung Myint to remain calm and assured him that the Thai authorities would do their best and would handle the situation justly, Ko Ko Maung is cited as reporting back to the delegation.

The 12-member team, led by upper house speaker Khin Aung Myint, is the highest level delegation sent by Burma to observe and assist in the Koh Tao murder case.

English tourists Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were bludgeoned to death in the early hours of 15 September on a secluded part of Sairee Beach on the Thai island of Koh Tao. Miss Witheridge was also raped.

After an international outcry, Burmese migrants Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun were arrested two weeks later, police claiming that DNA taken from Witheridge matched the two suspects.

However, the Thai police’s handling of the case has been widely condemned, with many observers pointing to an apparent determination on the part of the Thai authorities to pin the blame on foreigners. Britain sent its own team from Scotland Yard to investigate the crime scene, but they are yet to release a report.

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