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BKKPOST:Apr21 Slorc thanks Prasong

/* Written  8:30 am  Apr 21, 1994 by kamol@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx in igc:soc.culture.th */
/* ---------- "BKKPOST:Apr21 Slorc thanks Prasong" ---------- */

by Woranant Krongboonying
THE top-ranking military leaders of Burma said they would be 
pleased to go to Bangkok to attend the ASEAN foreign ministers' 
meeting if invited as guest of the host country.
Foreign Minister Prasong Soonsiri on Tuesday quoted Gen Than Shwe, 
chairman of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), 
as thanking Thailand and saying that Burma understood the working 
process of ASEAN and was satisfied with it.
"I'd stressed to him that Thailand would continue to consult the 
other ASEAN members and would make a formal confirmation (on the 
status of Burma's participation) soon," said Sqn Ldr Prasong.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has adopted a policy of 
"constructive engagement" to end Burma's isolation. Rangoon has 
been under pressure from the international community owing to its 
lack of democracy and human rights.
Thailand, as the host country of the ASEAN foreign ministers' 
meeting, has been lobbying to include Burma in ASEAN's activities 
which would mark the end to isolation.
Sqn Ldr Prasong also said that as far as he can see, there have 
been many changes for the better in Rangoon. The Burmese 
Government had drafted a new constitution and resolved problems of 
the minority groups through peaceful negotiations.
In a separate discussion with SLORC First Secretary Lt-Gen Khin 
Nyunt, Sqn Ldr Prasong quoted the Burmese leader as saying that 
after the constitution was completed, they would settle the 
problem of dissident leader Aung San Suu Kyi. But he did not 
elaborate or specify a time.
Suu Kyi won the national elections in May 1990 but the military 
junta did not accept the election results and she has been under 
house arrest for almost five years.
However, the military guards and barbed-wire obstacles have been 
removed from in front of Suu Kyi's residence in Rangoon.
On bilateral issues, Thailand wants to strengthen drug control 
measures despite the cooperation of the existing joint committee 
between the two countries.
Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt was quoted as saying that Burma was willing to 
cooperate with Thailand and would begin its plan to suppress 
warlord Khun Sa who is the biggest heroin dealer in this region. 
The issue of finding replacement crops for marijuana and opium was 
also raised.
Sqn Ldr Prasong touched on the Salween project which Thailand had 
proposed drafting a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) but would 
like to push for further negotiations, he said.
He said he was informed that Thailand's MoU on the project was 
being studied by a Burmese technical team. Recommendations from 
the team would be proposed to the Burmese Government for further 
The Foreign Minister also raised the fisheries problem and 
suggested that officials concerned with the issue should meet 
again in order to settle the conflict.
The Burmese authorities have moved 350 Thai prisoners charged with 
marine territory violations to Rangoon's Insein Prison which will 
enable the Thai Embassy to take better care of them, he added.