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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Myanmar govt urged to clear up DKBA drug ring

THE NATION May 9, 2012 1:00 am

The ongoing war of words between those responsible for Thai anti-narcotics efforts and the senior leader of an armed Karen minority group would come to an end if the Myanmar authorities got involved and took care of the matter.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung said yesterday the dispute would not affect bilateral relations as it was not a diplomatic issue, but simply concerned a crime. He said he would however travel to Myanmar to discuss the matter, if necessary.

"Personally, I do not dare announce that the Myanmar authorities will cooperate fully over the matter, but I will do my best to sort it out," he added.

Chalerm has been involved in a tit-for-tat verbal exchange with General Na Kha Muay, the top leader of the Yangon-allied Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), after he challenged him to stand trial in a Thai court to fight a narcotics indictment.

The deputy PM cited a court warrant issued for Na Kha Muay in 2003. Na Kha Muay had called on Chalerm to show proof that he had been producing and dealing in drugs, while Chalerm responded that a Thai court-approved warrant was credible enough.

The Karen general has since retaliated by closing 12 border crossings in areas under DKBA influence from Tak through to Kanchanaburi provinces.

Chalerm continued the verbal challenge in yesterday's statement, saying, "Most minority groups have not sided with Na Kha Muay's men, which are made up of hundreds of troops, who could not flex [sufficient] muscle against the might of the Thai military. I'm not giving them [DKBA] any credit."

Asked about Na Kha Muay's claim that he never received a copy of the warrant, and why he had only now initiated action against the Karen general despite the warrant having been issued nine years ago, the deputy premier said:

"The drugs issue had not been taken seriously since former prime minister Thaksin [Shinawatra] was ousted in the [2006] coup, and the previous government was not active on suppression, resulting in the warrant not being pursued."

Na Kha Muay has scheduled a press conference for tomorrow, when local and foreign media will be present at the DKBA's invitation. The event was reportedly approved by the Myanmar authorities.

The DKBA insists that blacklisting Na Kha Muay would cause damage to the public image of both the organisation and the general.

In the invitation letter, the DKBA said other measures would be adopted in retaliation against "Thailand's initiative" against the organisation, and that "true details of narcotics dealings would be revealed in the press conference".

Meanwhile, a Nigerian man was arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport yesterday for allegedly bringing in 2.85 kilograms of ice flakes. Police said Ogafor Harrison claimed that he did not own the drug found in his luggage, but was instead carrying it for a person who would then take it to Ho Chi Minh City.

In another sting, police arrested two men for allegedly possessing 99,600 amphetamine tablets and 56.81 grams of ice at their home in Samut Sakhon's Muang district.

Suspect Sommit Bunkong told police that he bought the drugs from a Bangkok Remand Prison inmate known as Bang Ma, and that he had done this 10 times before.

Sommit has been imprisoned twice, first for a 10-year term and then for a two-year term, which he only recently completed.

The other suspect, Suphoj sae-Jeo, denied possessing the drugs. He completed a four-year jail term two years ago.


Tohdeeboe said...

Anyway, what does it has to do with Thai authority even if Na Kha Mwe produced a drug before. Even if he truly did produce the drug, he did it in Myanmar not in Thailand. Does Thai authority has power over Myanmar? Does Thai authority dominate over the Myanmar?

Henrik said...

Mr. Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung, Please do not deal with Burmese people about historical in current modern democratic world. It will bring back them more bad images about after 1988 activities such as the fall of Karen rebel teritories or God Army and now DKBA. I would like to ask you some example questions, If someone leave some drug or illegal things beside your house and you do not know WHO, what will you going to deal with that. Will you pick it to RED SHIRT or YELLOW SHIRT who unstable your current Thai politic? or will you pick it to Abbisit party? You must know that the drug dealer in Burma is not DKBA general but Burmese formal intellingent Gen. Khin Nyunt. Why don't you send a warrent to him after he release from housearrest? You have No rights to interfering other nebouring countries such Cambodia or Burma for the sake of Thailand. Khun Sa was the most wanted drug kingping but why Khin Nyunt do not transfer him to international court. You MUST know yourself because YOU ARE THE THAI GENERAL WHO WILL DOWN SEE OTHER ETHNIC RIGHTS, PROBLEM CREATOR, DISCRIMANATOR. If you love your country please solve the proble in a peaceful way and let international court judge them but not you.

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