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Thailand Lashes Out US Senators' Criticism Over Burma Crisis - 2003-08-07


Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has dismissed U.S. senators' threats to cut financial aid to Thailand, saying his country does not need financial aid from anyone.

He was responding to a letter reportedly sent by U.S. Senator John McCain from the state of Arizona, who expressed concern over recent actions by Thai authorities with regard to Burmese dissidents.

The letter said that Thailand had taken steps to curtail political activities of Burmese activists in border areas, hampering assistance to refugees from Burma, and intimidating members of ethnic groups opposed to the Burmese junta.

The U.S. Senate threatened to recommend financial aid to Thailand be reduced next year.

Mr. Thaksin said he had not received the letter, but insisted Thailand had done the best it could for refugees fleeing Burma's repressive military regime.

Information for this report is provided by AFP.

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