6 June 2024

Newly-appointed Foreign Minister Maris Sangiampongsa said today that he is not worried over reports that that former PM Thaksin Shinawatra has met with representatives of Myanmar’s opposition groups.

Thaksin acted in his own capacity when he held discussions with Myanmar rebel groups fighting the military junta, he said.

“If Myanmar’s opposition groups decide to seek help from Thaksin, let them do so. It is their decision,” Maris said, adding “Thaksin’s talks with the Burmese have nothing to do with the Thai government. I just learned about the matter from the media, so I do not have details yet.”

VOA Myanmar reported that Thaksin, who was free on parole from prison, held secret meetings with Myanmar’s rebels in the past two months in the northern province of Chiang Mai and in Bangkok.

Maris, a former ambassador, replaced Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara, who resigned without giving a clear reason, stating only that he wished to “uphold his principles”.

Some political observers point out that one of the possible reasons Parnpree resigned may be due to Thaksin’s apparent interference in foreign affairs.

Maris reiterated that Bangkok’s standpoint remains the restoration of peace and negotiations in Myanmar, its close neighbour.

“If we allow this fighting to continue, Thailand, which shares a border, will face trouble,” he said, adding that Thailand will continue providing humanitarian assistance to Myanmar under the framework of the ASEAN grouping.