FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM
Thailand’s Move Forward Party (MFP) leader Pita Limjaroenrat outlined his intention to work with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and all stakeholders in Burma to solve the country’s political crisis on June 20. His party won a majority of parliamentary seats in the Thai general elections last month. “With regards to the evolving Myanmar situation, my team and I are closely monitoring the developments and have prioritized the issue as a top concern. Of particular concern is the recently publicized divergence of views among ASEAN member states on the best approach to address the unfolding situation in Myanmar,” Pita wrote in a tweet. In it, he outlined the policies his administration will adhere to when it takes power.
Pita said that his administration would adhere to ASEAN centrality and will support its Five-Point Consensus. Regime leader Min Aung Hlaing agreed with ASEAN leaders to end violence in Burma and initiate political dialogue between different stakeholders, but violence in the country has only escalated since. Pita reiterated his support for current ASEAN chair Indonesia’s efforts to engage with all stakeholders in Burma. “In this regard, we will ensure close coordination and frequent consultation among all parties and key stakeholders on the issue, leading to regional and global peace, security and prosperity,” he added.
Pita stated that an aid corridor into Burma, via Thailand, will be a priority for his administration to address Burma’s rapidly deteriorating humanitarian crisis and benefit the Thai economy. The MFP-led proposed coalition government, including other democratic parties, intends to form a Myanmar Inter-Agency Task Force under the oversight of the Prime Minister’s Office. This task force will seek solutions in addressing Burma’s protracted conflict, human trafficking, migration, cross-border pollution, and the increasing amount of cyber scam companies operating along the Thai-Burma border.
Pita’s commitments to increased diplomacy toward Burma came after the Thai caretaker government, led by outgoing Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, held an informal summit with Naypyidaw’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Than Swe in Pattaya June 18-19. Officials from China, India, Laos, and Cambodia reportedly attended the talks, which was widely criticized by civil society groups, human rights activists, and other ASEAN members. Pheu Thai Party – and member of the proposed MFP coalition – MP Chaturon Chaisang said that Thailand should let the incoming government shape the country’s foreign policy.