Thaksin Accepts Reasons for Detaining Suu Kyi
December 13, 2004 - By Punnisa Nimmanahaeminda
Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra says he understands why the Burmese government continues to hold opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest.
Speaking in his weekly radio address, Thaksin said he found the reasons given by the Rangoon government for Suu Kyi’s continued detention “reasonable enough and convincing.”
Thaksin raised the issue of Suu Ky’s detention when he met the Burmese leader Sr-Gen Than Shwe during the Buddhist conference in Rangoon last week. He said Than Shwe had told him Suu Kyi remained under house arrest “because the last three times that (she) has been released it would always lead to difficulties.”
Thaksin, speaking on Thai radio following his return from Burma, noted that “there was always political violence and turmoil following (the) two or three previous releases of Aung San Suu Kyi.”
Thaksin also said he thought it “necessary for Myanmar’s government to have political stability, because there are more than 100 minority groups who want to be independent.”
Thaksin’s statement was sharply criticized by Sunai Phasuk, of the Asian Network for Free Elections, or ANFREL. Sunai, the organization’s executive director, said the Thai Prime Minister either failed to understand political conditions in Burma or deliberately chose words to support the Rangoon regime.
Sunai concluded that Thaksin had taken the “lying words of the junta as his own” and had made them on an international stage. “I don’t understand why.”