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BKK Nation: Thailand and Burma Rebu

Subject: BKK Nation: Thailand and Burma Rebuffed

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Asean officials prefer only guest status for Burma

The Nation (Bangkok)
April 26, 1994
by Maris Chimprabha


Senior officilas of Asean co untries yesterday agreed that Burma
should attend the upcoming Asean meeting in Bagnkok as a guest of
the host country not the Asean's Standing Committee (ASC) as
proposed by Thailand.

Burma, which has been administered by a military junta, has not yet
shown enough "positive gestures to justify an invitation from the
ASC," a source said.

The senior officials of the Asean grouping yesterday met in Pattaya
to discuss details of the 27th Asean meeting to be held in Bangkok
in July.

Thailand's wish to upgrade Burma's status from guest of the host
country to guest of the ASC was dashed at yesterday's meeting.

"The meeting, in which permanent secretary to foreign affairs
Pracha Guna-kasem represented the Thai side, has made it clear at
this state Rangoon should be preset at the July meeting as a guest
of the host country," said the same source.

Thailand has tried hard to invite militarily-controlled Burma to
the meeting as it believed Rangoon should have the opportunity to
observe other countries activities.

The move is in line with Asean's long-held position of adopting a
constructive engagement policy to help Burma back to democracy.

However, Bangkok has found it hard to acheive the wish, as the
Asean countries could not reach consesnsus on the Thai proposal to
invite Burma as a guest of Asean but were not opposed to Buirma's
attending as guest of the host country.

[The article runs for nine further paragraphs on other diplomatic
issues not related to Burma and has not been reproduced.]