Informal meeting for Myanmar issues hosted by Thailand

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – June 18 Scenes

MoeMaKa, June 19, 2023

Informal meeting for Myanmar issues hosted by Thailand


According to news reports, in order to find a solution to Myanmar’s affairs, the informal meeting hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand inviting the foreign minister of Myanmar’s military junta and countries that may be affected by the Myanmar issue will be held on Monday, June 19, one day later than the planned June 18.


Rather than sending invitation as an ASEAN country, Thailand has invited neighboring countries bordering Myanmar, including India and China, and non-bordering ASEAN member countries. Among the ASEAN member countries, Indonesia and Malaysia will not attend and have expressed their displeasure with this arrangement. ASEAN has been making efforts regarding the Myanmar issue, but more than 2 years after the military coup in Myanmar, the 5-Point Consensus has not been implemented yet, and the armed conflict is escalating.


Myanmar’s neighboring countries, such as Thailand and India, have received tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of people who have fled the armed conflict in Myanmar. It can be said that these countries have a direct impact on Myanmar’s affairs because they may encounter illegal entry such as arms smuggling that occurs across the border.


Rather than Thailand’s sponsorship of this discussion being completely wrong, Myanmar’s revolutionary forces are displeased with the fact that only the foreign minister of the military council government was invited. On the side of the revolutionary forces, the National Unity Government (NUG), in other words, a parallel government, has been established, but the government of Thailand does not recognize the NUG, and has not invited them to the talks to find a solution to the Myanmar issue. They are criticizing their view that the military council is the only one that controls the current power in Myanmar’s affairs and governs the country. The revolutionary forces are demanding the diplomatic exclusion of the military council from the international community. ASEAN has not allowed the representative of the military council to attend ASEAN meetings for almost 2 years, but there is still no official contact with the National Unity Government.


Thailand’s current ruling government is composed of army generals who came to power after the election with a drafted constitution at the discretion of the military after they staged the military coup. So, it is not surprising that they support the Myanmar military in the political crisis. However, on the other hand, revolutionary forces are not satisfied with inviting the military council as a discussion party, which has committed crimes that are not accepted by the international community, such as killing hundreds of civilians and burning down tens of thousands of homes.


It is believed that the current Thai government supports the fact that the military cannot be completely removed from Myanmar politics, but that it does not directly support the Myanmar military’s human rights violations, such as the killings, arson, arrests, and torture of civilians. This is the third time such an informal discussion has been held in Thailand, and it has also been held once in India. To what extent these talks will persuade the Myanmar military leaders to change their attitude will be an unanswered question at the moment.


According to the latest news, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Brunei, Vietnam, India, and China are among the countries that will attend at Thailand’s invitation.


Regarding the invitation to this meeting, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the National Unity Government sent a letter to the Thai government to withdraw it, and more than 300 Myanmar civil organizations also sent a letter of objection to the Thai government, but the Thai government did not respond.