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Rights Group Criticizes Thai PM Over Burma Remarks - 2004-12-16


A U.S.-based human rights group has criticized Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra for remarks he made that appeared to accept the ongoing house arrest in Burma of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Mr. Thaksin just returned from a visit to Rangoon and talks with Burmese leaders. He was quoted by Thai media as saying Burma's reasons for holding Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi are understandable and convincing.

Wednesday, the U.S. Campaign for Burma issued a statement saying Mr. Thaksin is isolating himself from international opinion about Burma. The group accused the Thai leader of being interested only in expanding his personal wealth. Mr. Thaksin's family has holdings in major corporations doing business with Burma.

A Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman tells VOA that Mr. Thaksin's remarks were misquoted. The spokesman said Mr. Thaksin did not mean to imply support for Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi's detention.

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