Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi arrives in Thailand where she is expected to be garlanded by her adoring compatriots, hundreds of thousands of whom have sought wo…
Myanmar state counselor and foreign minister, on her first official visit to Thailand since her government was inaugurated, went to Mahachai in Samut Sakhon province to address 500 Myanmar nationals working there.
But the overflow crowd of thousands more, barred from entering the venue, lost patience.”Long live mother,” they chanted and waved Myanmar flags as security forces tried to regroup and ponder how to get the crowd under control.
A downpour thwarted Aung San Suu Kyi’s last-minute plan to also address the thousands of supporters who could not get inside.
“Tell my people I am disappointed I cannot give a speech to them outside today, but I know their problems well,” she told migrant activist Andy Hall, according to his tweet. –
Hundreds of thousands of migrants work in Thailand’s fishery-related industries, about half estimated to be illegally employed.The exploitation of some of them has been well-documented.
Overall, there are as many as three million Myanmar nationals working legally in Thailand and perhaps as many as two million more are undocumented.
Myanmar and Thailand, during Aung San Suu Kyi’s three-day visit, are expected to announce a new cross-border employment agreement.
The mandatory work-break period would be cut from three years to 30 days.
Her tightly-controlled schedule allows little interaction with the media, seen by some as a way of avoiding difficult questions about the treatment of Rohingya Muslims, who are held in camps in apartheid-like conditions in Myanmar’s west.
She will visit a seafood-processing district south of Bangkok, meeting some of the millions of migrant workers who prop up Thailand’s seafood, agriculture, construction and service industries.
At least 1.5 million and perhaps as many as 4 million Myanmar citizens live and work in Thailand.