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Three new border crossings to open

Bangkok Post
April 26, 2013

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, BRUNEI : Thailand and Myanmar have agreed to open three more permanent border checkpoints to give a boost to economic development.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Myanmar President Thein Sein agreed on the Myanmar-proposed initiative on the sidelines of the 22nd Asean Summit in Brunei which ended yesterday.

Deputy government spokesman Phakdeeharn Himathongkham said Ms Yingluck thanked the Myanmar government for raising the issue.

The checkpoints are between Thailand’s Three Pagodas Pass in Kanchanaburi province and Myanmar’s Phayatongsu town; Ban Nam Pu Ron in Kanchanaburi and Myanmar’s Tiki town; and the Singkorn temporary checkpoint in Prachuap Khiri Khan and Myanmar’s Mortong town, he said.

Mr Phakdeeharn said Ms Yingluck told Thein Sein that opening three more checkpoints would help strengthen ties between Thailand and Myanmar.

He said Ms Yingluck took the opportunity during her meeting to follow up an earlier request made by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul about Rohingya migrants.

He called for the Myanmar government to send officials to Thailand to investigate the Rohingya migrants being detained here.

Mr Surapong said during the Asean Foreign Ministers Meeting in Brunei this month that he had sought cooperation from his Myanmar counterpart Wunna Maung Lwin to help return about 2,000 detained Rohingya to Myanmar.

Wunna Maung Lwin had pledged to take them back if his officials found they truly came from Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

Mr Phakdeeharn said the two leaders also discussed the progress of the Dawei deep-sea port development project after Thailand and Myanmar earlier set up a joint committee to monitor the project.

He said Ms Yingluck told Thein Sein that Thailand had finished drafting a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) shareholder agreement.

She said she would like the Myanmar side to consider it.

The agreement sets the environment of shareholder rights and regulations for the management and operational policies of the project.

Mr Phakdeeharn said the two countries agreed they would meet to further discuss finance and investment issues for the project and would invite Japan to join the talks next month.

At the Asean Summit, Ms Yingluck proposed the connectivity of the three Asean pillars _ political-security, economic, and socio-cultural communities _ through cultural activities and tourism to promote public interaction.

She also wants to push forward assistance in medicine, publichealth, and education