Yawdserk warns Shans against meddling in Thai politics
Shan State Army (SSA) South leader Col Yawdserk has issued a statement urging Shans living in Thailand to stay away from ongoing troubled Thai politics.
The statement in Shan dated 24 September 2008 was in response to accusation by a Chiangmai-based FW broadcasting station on 20 September that a Shan group backed by the SSA South had been joining hands with a Thai group against the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) led by anti-Thaksin civic leaders.
“We earnestly pray for a speedy reconciliation (in Thailand),” said the announcement.
An officer close to Col Yawdserk remarked that it was strange the station had chosen to accuse him of taking sides with the anti-PAD forces. “My boss is a personal friend of Sondhi Limthongkul (one of the PAD leaders),” he said. “It is therefore hard to believe he would go against Sondhi, even if he were asked to take sides.”
Most Shans interviewed by S.H.A.N. expressed only concern about their future. “We came to Thailand, because of war and strife in our country, while there was peace in Thailand,” said a construction worker. “Where else can we go if Thailand becomes a battlefield?”
The majority of Shans, uneducated, are able to live and work in Thailand as their languages are akin to each other. The only other country that speaks the same tongue is Laos.