Thailand says "whole world" concerned over Myanmar crackdown

  • ASEAN+
  • Monday, 02 Jun 2003

KHON KAEN, Thailand (AP) - Thailand's prime minister said Monday that "the whole world'' is concerned about the detention of Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and that the country's military government would have to act to bring the situation "back to normal.'' 

Myanmar's junta closed offices of Suu Kyi's party and ordered universities shut after placing the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and 19 members of her party into "protective custody'' following a violent clash Friday between her supporters and thousands of pro-junta protesters in the country's north. 

"I think the whole world is concerned, but I think the Myanmar government understands that,'' Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said. 

"The Myanmar government will probably have to do something to bring everything back to normal as soon as possible.'' 

Thaksin was speaking on the sidelines of a two-day meeting of trade ministers of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in northern Thailand. 

"We are trying to urge the Myanmar government to (build) total national reconciliation, not only with Aung San Suu Kyi but with all ethnic minorities,'' he added. 

The moves against Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy have alarmed some foreign governments and the United Nations, which has been leading efforts to get the junta to negotiate with the opposition. 

Myanmar has been ruled by the military for 40 years. The current junta came to power after crushing a pro-democracy uprising in 1988. 

It called general elections in 1990, which NLD won by a landslide, but the junta blocked the party from taking power. - AP 

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