BANGKOK, Thailand - A UN envoy has requested Thailand's assistance in preventing an escalation of the crisis in neighboring Myanmar and has appreciated promises that refugees fleeing Myanmar military operations would be protected by the Thai government.
The appeal was made to Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha by Noeleen Heyzer, the Secretary General's special envoy on Myanmar. The Myanmar situation caused discord within ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) forced the postponement of a ministers' meeting scheduled for this week.
Heyzer is soliciting foreign backing for efforts to assist displaced people and pressuring Myanmar's military leadership to commit to a five-point peace plan agreed upon with other ASEAN members last April.
"Thailand prime minister has an important role in preventing further deterioration of the crisis in Myanmar, where an implosion would bring further instability to an already volatile border area," Heyzer said on Monday.
Thousands of Myanmar citizens have fled into Thailand since hostilities near the border erupted during a coup last year. Official numbers show that more than 1,300 remain in a Thai shelter.
According to the Mizzima news website, as many as 50,000 people have been displaced due to the country's recent military onslaught.