Skip to main content

Thailand starts aid deliveries to Myanmar under plan aimed at managing conflict


THAILAND started the delivery of aid to military-ruled Myanmar on Monday (Mar 25), in a humanitarian initiative that seeks to pave the way for talks between warring camps after three years of instability and violence triggered by a coup.

The first batch of 4,000 relief bags carrying rice, dried food, and other essentials for 20,000 people was delivered in a convoy by the Thai Red Cross to its Myanmar counterpart at the Mae Sot-Myawaddy border crossing, Thailand’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

The project is part of a wider peace initiative by Thailand to establish a humanitarian corridor, backed by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), as a civil war intensifies between Myanmar’s military on one side and ethnic minority armies and a resistance movement on the other.

The United Nations has said at least 2.6 million people have been displaced by fighting and more than 18 million people are in need of assistance.

Asean’s five-point peace plan, which Myanmar’s generals agreed to in April 2021, has yet to advance, with frustration in the bloc about the junta’s lack of commitment and its use of air strikes and artillery in civilian areas.

The commitment includes humanitarian access and a halt to fighting and dialogue, which the generals have so far refused to pursue. Thailand is hoping it can play a role in bringing the fighting to a manageable level and encouraging talks.

“This is a display of good intention from Thailand to the people of Myanmar,” Thailand’s Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Sihasak Phuangketkeow said, adding, “with the hope that Myanmar will see peace, stability and unity”.

The aid will be distributed in three pilot locations in Myanmar’s Kayin State, observed by Asean’s humanitarian and disaster agency.

Sihasak said there was a readiness to support dialogue between the parties, and that the humanitarian assistance would expand to other areas in the future. REUTERS

Popular posts from this blog

Strong US dollar hits Thai baht, Malaysian ringgit hardest among Asean currencies

STORM clouds are gathering for South-east Asian currencies as the US dollar fires up in a robust start to the dragon year, fuelled by stubborn inflation and rosy jobs data, heightening expectations that the US Federal Reserve will maintain rates higher for longer. Across South-east Asia, the Thai baht and Malaysian ringgit have been the hardest hit, although there was a brief recovery on Thursday (Mar 21) following the US central bank’s latest decision to hold rates. “Almost all currencies in the world weakened against the US dollar in the first quarter. Asean FX (foreign exchange) was not an exception,” HSBC Head of Asia FX Research Joey Chew told  The Business Times .  

Thai tycoons heat up virtual bank bids as applications open

  CHAROEN Pokmhand Group and Gulf Energy Development, among Thailand’s largest business groups, are vying for the country’s new virtual bank licences as the Bank of Thailand opens applications. True Corp, a telecommunication arm of CP Group, and its partners including Ant Group are in the process of preparing a bid, said chairman Suphachai Chearavanont. Gulf Energy, the nation’s top power producer, will submit the bid in partnership with Krung Thai Bank and its affiliate Advanced Info Service, according to chief executive officer Sarath Ratanavadi. South-east Asia’s second-largest economy is opening its banking industry to more competition that will allow greater access to loans for under-served consumers, following similar moves across Asia where such digital banks are already up and running. The central bank plans to announce the winning bidders next year as it began accepting applications from interested groups on Wednesday (Mar 20) until Sep 19. “We have seen the greater importance

Americans invested billions in Chinese companies. Now their money is stuck

WHEN  investors talk about “zombie” companies, they’re usually referring to distressed startups that are hobbling along, unable to grow and unlikely to ever return the money they’ve raised. But as deal-makers feverishly debated efforts this past week by lawmakers to force TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, to sell the app, they talked about a new version: China zombies. China zombies may have booming businesses, but they’re unlikely to provide investors with any immediate return because they’re stuck in geopolitical crosshairs. It’s not just the investors in ByteDance who, after handing it more than US$8 billion, are stuck. What looked like a mammoth growth opportunity just a few years ago – inspiring investors to pour money into companies such as Ant Financial, PingPong and Geekplus – has turned hostile. “There’s more out there like ByteDance,” Evan Chuck, a partner at the advisory firm Crowell, said of companies with investors who may find themselves in this position. “It’s