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Thailand Cracks Down On Exile Burmese Dissidents - 2003-01-21


Thai authorities have arrested nine Burmese nationals in Thailand's western Kanchanaburi province.

Burmese dissidents based in Thailand say the nine were rounded up because they are members of groups opposed to Burma's military government. In recent months, Thailand has deported several Burmese dissidents based in Kanchanaburi province.

But a Thai police official tells the French news agency the Burmese nationals were rounded up as part of a crackdown on illegal immigrants.

Meanwhile, Britain's Lord David Alton and U.S. Congressman Joe Pitts visited the Mae La refugee camp on the northwestern border of Thailand which houses members of Burma's Karen ethnic minority. The two are on a ten-day trip through southeast Asia focusing on human rights issues.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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