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Mae Sai Border To Be Open 24-hours

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Call for 24-hour opening of Mae Sai pass for New Year

CHIANG RAI: Authorities in Chiang Rai have proposed a 24-hour opening of the Thai-Burmese border pass in Mae Sai district during the New Year holiday to promote tourism.

A security official who asked not to be named said the Chiang Rai governor and Mae Sai district chief had proposed the idea to the Interior Ministry, the Third Army and other agencies concerned.

If approved, it would be the first round-the-clock border opening for Thailand.

The tentative opening is planned for Dec 31 and Jan 1, and could test the readiness of officials concerned including immigration police and soldiers, in case the border pass is to be kept open 24 hours on a permanent basis, the source said.

Third Army commander Lt-Gen Picharnmeth Muangmanee said that in view of improved Thai-Burmese relations, the 24-hour opening of the Mae Sai-Tachilek border pass was highly possible and should boost the bilateral economy and tourism.

He said soldiers were ready to handle a permanent opening and that Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra wanted Chiang Rai to develop close trade ties with Burma.

--The Post 2003-12-16

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