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Travel Warning For Myanmar

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Thais warned not to travel to Burma

BANGKOK: -- The Tourism and Sports Ministry has issued a travel warning, urging Thais to avoid travelling to Burma due to the internal problems there.

Deputy Minister Nut Intarapan said on Wednesday that Thai travellers, for both business and leisure trips, should postpone their travelling until the situation improves.

He said the ministry has ordered Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Tourist Assistance Centre to provide information for tourists as well as monitor the matter in order to prevent any damage.

"I advise all travellers who plan to visit Burma to discuss with TAT prior to making a decision," said Nut.

-- The Nation 2007-09-26

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Thai army set to evacuate Thais in Myanmar

BANGKOK: -- "The situation in Myanmar is not yet critical but the Royal Thai Army is ready to evacuate Thais in Myanmar immediately when it is needed," stated Gen. Sonthi Boonyaratkalin, Army Chief and chairman of the Council for National Security (CNS).

Gen. Sonthi added that according to the report of Thailand's deputy military attache in Myanmar, the Thai embassy to Myanmar has already identified Thais who are staying in Myanmar, as well as their living places.

The assistance measures have been put in place to evacuate Thai nationals if needed.

Speaking about the situation in Myanmar, also known as Burma, after the military government imposed a curfew and banned gatherings of more than five people Tuesday, Deputy Transport Minister Sansern Wongcha-um said Thai domestic airlines haven't been affected and flights to Myanmar are operating as usual.

However, any change depends on Thai security agencies' evaluation of the current situation. Thai government has closely monitored the situation to evacuate Thais in Myanmar if they need to travel back home.

Civil Aviation Department chief Chaisak Angkasuwan said that the department hasn't suspended any flights to Myanmar. Both Thai Airways International and Thai AirAsia offer flights there. Any cancellation relies on the government's policy and security agencies.

AirAsia CEO Tassapon Bijleveld affirmed that the no-frills airline offers normal daily flights from Bangkok to Yangon and from Yangon to Bangkok.

The Airlines officials in Yangon said the situation is not worrying and there is no need to cancel flights to Yangon.

The number of passengers to Myanmar is recorded at 80 per cent on average, with most travellers being businesspersons and tourists.

Mr. Prasong Tonmaneewattana, Director-General of Marine Department said that marine goods transport between Thailand and Myanmar, at the border crossings in Ranong and Three Pagodas Pass in Kanchanaburi, is still active, with a high volume of shipments from customers.

Cancellation of water transport services depends on the circumstances in Myanmar.

However, from Wednesday, Royal Thai Navy patrol craft will also help monitoring the situation closely, he said.

--TNA 2007-09-26

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Burma launches daylight crackdown

Burma cracks down on monks and protesters/30 monks and 50 civilians arrested and taken away

YANGOON: -- Hundreds of riot police and soldiers Wednesday used batons and teargas to beat back monks and laymen from entering 's holiest shrine, the Shwedagon Pagoda, in a crackdown on a week-long barefoot rebellion in 's former capital.

At least 30 monks and 50 civilians were beaten and then taken away in military vehicles to an unknown destination.

Police and soldiers manned barricades erected on the road to the east gate of the Shwedagon Pagoda, preventing marching monks from using the shrine as a launch pad for their ninth day of peaceful protests.

The show of force, however, failed to stop the monks from marching.

About 5,000 monks who had gathered outside the pagoda marched down Kanpatlan Road, rimming Kandawkyi Lake, with about 1,000 laymen followers in tow. Another 3,000 took another route.

Burma's military, after issuing several warnings to the monks for the past two days, deployed its troops against the protest for the first time in nine days of protest marches in .

At least 12 truckloads, each carrying about 40 police and soldiers, were dispatched Tuesday night to City Hall after tens of thousands of monks defied a government order to end their protest marches and return to their temples.

Dozens of military trucks and jeeps were seen parked outside the City Hall compound, but the troops were out of sight Wednesday morning. Police and military personnel were guarding the four gates of the Sule Pagoda, which sits in the centre of a traffic circle in front of City Hall.

The pagoda in the centre of downtown has been where the monks have congregated, joined by thousands of laymen, over the past four days in a show of defiance against 's military junta.

The marching monks appeared determined to take to the streets again Wednesday despite signs that a confrontation is looming. As on past days, they were to first meet about noon at the Shwedagon Pagoda and then march on Sule Pagoda.

"We are even ready to die," one temple abbot told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

Various human rights groups and crisis-management organisations have called on 's allies such as China, India and South-East Asian nations to intervene to prevent a bloodbath in.

"The Burmese military has shown in the past a willingness to kill peaceful protestors to end demonstrations," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "If the military government is going to listen to anyone, it will be countries with which it has close military and economic ties. Now is the time for these countries to show that they care about the health and welfare of the Burmese people."

Burma's barefoot rebellion, which started September 18, drew up to 100,000 followers Monday and Tuesday and have proceeded so far without reprisals from the regime.

But signs indicated that the junta is ready to spill blood as it did in September 1988 when the army unleashed its fury on pro-democracy mass demonstrations, killing up to 3,000 people, including hundreds of protesting monks.

Around midnight, the government announced via public loudspeakers that a 60-day curfew had been imposed in the city from 9 pm to 5 am.

General Hospital has been instructed to clear wards in preparation for an influx of patients, hospital sources said.

In 1988, was rocked by nationwide rallies against the military regime's incompetent rule, which had dragged the country down from one of the wealthiest in Asia prior to World War II to an economic basket case by 1987.

Economic hardships are partly behind the latest protests.

Without warning or consultations, the government more than doubled fuel prices on August 15, exacerbating overnight the plight of 's impoverished people. The country has suffered double-digit inflation since 2006.

Anti-inflation protests started building on August 19 in , led by former student activists and opposition politicians. Last week, the movement was taken up by the monks.

Burma's 400,000-member Buddhist monkhood has a long history of political activism in , having played a pivotal role in the independence struggle against Great Britain in 1947 and the anti- military demonstrations of 1988.

--TNA 2007-09-26

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Thai army set to evacuate Thais in Myanmar

how can the thai army arrange an evacuation of thai citisens in the foreign country other than military intervention?

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During the 1997 Coup in Phnom Penh, Cambodia there was several country's that provided their military to evacuate nationals without a military intervention.

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The situation in Burma is getting a lot of attention in the news in the UK, maybe this is the big one.

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Such a shame; was there in February, Yangon & Mandalay Great polite people, Good welcome. Pity most folk skint. Taff202

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Thai army set to evacuate Thais in Myanmar

how can the thai army arrange an evacuation of thai citisens in the foreign country other than military intervention?

That would be the last resort normally. How ever, the military could provide an airlift/sealift capability to get citizens out.

In Sierra Leone a couple years ago, military forces from a couple of western countries (I think it was mainly France, England and a small group from Canada) landed in the country and essentially took over the air and sea ports in order to evacuate their citizens. A little different situation there though. If any country tried to force their way in to Burma (to effect an evacuation), they would probably face a (slightly) better trained and organized military than what was present in Sierra Leone back then.

Either way, the situation isn't looking good.

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Thai army set to evacuate Thais in Myanmar

how can the thai army arrange an evacuation of thai citisens in the foreign country other than military intervention?

Military will use transport aircraft ( C130) to evac and have Fighting Falcon fighters in Thai airspace should any more problems happen. Refer to Cambodia evac a few years ago.

:o

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The Burma Campaign had a stark message for British companies trading in the country yesterday: "If there is a crackdown and the regime opens fire, you have paid for the bullets."

The Campaign in the UK says up to 150 international companies, including many from Britain, trade with Burma – particularly in the travel, timber, gems and clothing sectors – making a total investment of £1.2bn every year.

Way to go all you waaankers from where ever, you should be proud of your selves if you invested in the Burma

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Pathetic. Not even a statement demanding or requesting that the Myanmar gov't show restraint against the Buddhist monks who are displaying such bravery, and who today have been beaten with sticks, tear gassed, and potentially shot at. Restraint that would prevent an evacuation being neccessary. Disgusting.

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Such a shame; was there in February, Yangon & Mandalay Great polite people, Good welcome. Pity most folk skint. Taff202

Tourism was also an important source of income for the regime, the campaigners argued. They have been happy for Britons to visit if they have relatives who are buried in Second World War graves in Burma. But the campaign quoted Aung San Suu Kyi from December 2002 as saying: "We have not yet come to the point where we encourage people to come to Burma as tourists."

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It further alleged that businesses investing in Burma were not doing so for altruistic reasons, but because they were attracted by employment conditions that could be described as favourable to employers: normal salaries are less than 25p a day, unions are banned, there are limited health and safety laws, and the minimum working age is 13.

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Pathetic. Not even a statement demanding or requesting that the Myanmar gov't show restraint against the Buddhist monks who are displaying such bravery, and who today have been beaten with sticks, tear gassed, and potentially shot at. Restraint that would prevent an evacuation being neccessary. Disgusting.

I think one junta is normally not in the business of criticizing another junta..

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