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Burmese border situation undisturbed by Thai coup

Burma’s border crossings to Thailand remain open; meanwhile aid workers do not envisage any disruption to the delivery of supplies to refugees along the Thai-Burmese border.

The Friendship Bridge, the main trading post between Thailand’s Mae Sot and Burma’s Myawaddy, was closed temporarily after the announcement of a military coup d’état in Bangkok on Thursday, but reopened on Friday.

Thailand’s military chief Prayuth Chan-ocha originally declared martial law on May 20 after a seemingly endless spat of anti-government campaigning in the Thai capital and no end in sight to the political impasse.

Thai border guards confirmed the road bridge was open, but that boat crossings on the Moei River separating the two countries had been suspended.


Further north near the Golden Triangle, the border crossing between Thailand’s Mae Sai and Tachileik in eastern Shan State stayed open although local sources noted a marked decrease in the number of people and traders crossing the bridge.

Sally Thompson, executive director of The Border Consortium (TBC), which coordinates aid and supplies to some 120,000 refugees from Burma, mostly ethnic Karens, at 10 camps along the border, said that TBC does not anticipate any disruptions to the delivery of supplies to the refugees.

“We continue to coordinate with Thai authorities,” she told DVB on Friday. “Meanwhile, we do not anticipate any disruption to the delivery of supplies to the camps.”

TBC said that about half the camps had already received advanced rations of supplies such as rice, chilies and cooking oil in anticipation of the rainy season which begins soon.


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