Thailand said Friday it was providing humanitarian assistance to more than 1,000 people who this week fled military action in Myanmar, a day after Bangkok issued a rare statement expressing grave concern about the post-coup violence in the neighboring nation.
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha had instructed all relevant relief agencies to give medical and other assistance to the 1,200 or so people who crossed the border amid military strikes in Myanmar states bordering Thailand, Anucha Burapachaisri, a Thai government spokesman, told reporters at a news conference on Friday.
“The prime minister has ordered all involved agencies … to assess the situation and to take care of displaced persons who fled to the Thai border, in accordance with international humanitarian basis,” Anucha said.
Prayuth had said on Tuesday that people crossing the border from Myanmar who didn’t come from areas gripped by post-coup violence ought to go back.
“If they are fleeing fighting [and] disasters with deaths on the other side … we will have measures to accommodate them and won’t push them back – if they were really in trouble,” he said on March 30.
A new group of 961 people from Myanmar had arrived since Thursday, joining 216 of their compatriots who were still in Thailand following an earlier influx from across the frontier over the weekend, Tanee Sangrat, the Thai foreign ministry spokesman, said during the same news conference.
Most of them are children, women, elderly and patients, he said.
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