A Burmese officer is quoted in a cable sent from the US embassy in Rangoon to Washington as witnessing the building of an underground facility 300 miles north west of the capital.
An expatriate businessman witnessed a barge carrying reinforced steel bars of a diameter that suggested a large project and dockworkers saw other suspicious items arriving.
“The North Koreans, aided by Burmese workers, are constructing a concrete-reinforced underground facility that is ‘500ft from the top of the cave to the top of the hill above’,” according to the cable obtained by WikiLeaks and printed in the Guardian.
Following Myanmar’s November elections, universally attacked by Western governments as neither free nor fair,as saying that, “a single election could not change Burma’s situation overnight,” and that Thailand “would deal with the new government emerging from the election in an open and constructive way.” The remarks were duly noted by the Myanmar junta.
Although former Prime Minster Thaksin Shinawatra had business links with the junta, Bangkok has historically maintained a pro-Western and anti-junta position regarding Myanmar. Thitinan Pongsudhirak, director of the Institute of Security and International Studies at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, noted that the last Thai prime minister hailing from the Democratic Party, Chuan Leekpai, made a point of not setting foot on Myanmar soil in the late-1990s due to the junta’s oppressive grip on power. Conversely, Abhisit not only visited Naypyidaw — Myanmar’s secluded new capital — but also came home with a multi-billion-dollar port-development deal. “Thailand’s relative emphasis on human rights and democracy as its foreign policy underpinnings have gone out the window,” .
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The government is expected to draw on S$53.7 billion (US$40 billion) from its reserves for this year and an additional S24 billion (US$17.8 billion) over the next three years to assist local companies transition into a post-pandemic business environment.
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