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Thailand, Burma dispute islet (Sep

Subject: Thailand, Burma dispute islet  (Sept 12)

Bangkok Post Monday September 12, 1994
Thailand, Burma dispute islet formed by overflowing  river  
AN islet created by the overflow of the Moei River has sparked a conflict 
between Thailand and Burma after the Burmese authorities warned 
Thailand to remove its national flag and began moving troops to guard 
the area.  
Task Force 34 Commander Maj-Gen Bunlue Jittavikul said heavy rain in 
the past two months caused the river to overflow and changed the water 
course, leaving a 1,100-rai island in the middle of the river in Mae Sot 
More than 100 farmers have reportedly lost a total of 400 rai of 
agricultural land and have been unable to reclaim their property.  
Maj-Gen Bunlue, chairman of the Local Thai-Burmese Border Committee, 
has officially told the Burmese that the island is part of Thailand.
He earlier  ordered that  Thai national flags be planted on the island and 
border patrol police be stationed to ensure safety for some of the farmers 
who tried to slip into the area.
 Burmese forces from Palu Camp then insisted that Thai citizens and 
police personnel must leave the island immediately to prevent conflict 
which could lead to bitter military clashes, Maj-Gen Banlue said  
He said a meeting between Thai and Burmese authorities On August 24 
proved unsuccessful after the Burmese refused to acknowledge that the 
island belonged to Thailand 
 They cited an agreement on Thai-Burmese borderline signed in 1868 
indicating that  land created by the river must be regarded as a natural 
border shared by the two countries.  
Third Army Region Commander Lt-Gen Yingyod Chotipimai  believes the 
problem will be settled peacefully through compromise after a meeting 
with the Burmese authorities next month in Taunggyi, Shan state.  
Officials have been told to prepare land ownership documents on the 
island and other information to substantiate Thailand's claim over the 
"floating" territory.