iconimg Thursday, September 03, 2015

Agence France-Presse
Bangkok, October 01, 2007
Myanmar's military regime is unlikey to reform anytime soon, Thailand's junta chief said on Monday, amid global outrage over a crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Yangon. "The military rulers have their own stance which is unlikely to change. Any pressure to let democracy take place in Myanmar is difficult," said General Sonthi Boonyaratglin in an interview with a local TV station.

"Myanmar has developed its own military regime for a long time to protect its national interests," said Sonthi, who last year led a bloodless coup in Thailand that ousted elected premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

Neighbouring Myanmar has sparked global outrage over its clampdown on anti-junta demonstrations last week that killed at least 13 people, including a Japanese journalist, and jailed hundreds.

Thai Defence Minister Boonrawd Somtas also told AFP that the current protests against Myanmar's junta were unlikely to bring any political change to the country run by the military since 1962.

"The ongoing anti-junta movements would start to ease and they are unlikely to lead any change in Myanmar," he said.

"Such changes would not happen unless China, India and Russia exert serious pressure" on the junta, the minister said.

China, Myanmar's staunchest ally and a main trading partner, has always refused to become involved in the "internal affairs" of the Southeast Asian nation, formerly known as Burma.

Despite global outrage over Myanmar's crackdown, China has so far refused to condemn the junta's heavy-handed treatment.

The anti-junta protests erupted on August 19 in Yangon after a massive hike in fuel prices, but escalated two weeks ago with the emergence of the Buddhist monks on the front line and drew up to 100,000 people onto the streets last week.