Myanmar President Thein Sein has pledged to delete the names of 15 Thai journalists and columnists from a blacklist made in 2002, Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat confirmed yesterday.
ACM Sukumpol said the Myanmar president would order the cancellation of the blacklist as soon as he receives the list and the photos of the 15 blacklisted Thai journalists and columnists from his authorities.
The move was aimed at boosting relations between the countries, ACM Sukumpol told a group of Thai journalists who accompanied him on a visit to Myanmar. ACM Sukumpol is on an official two-day visit that ends today.
He met Thein Sein to discuss a wide range of issues, including the press blacklist and the case of 92 Thais detained for alleged land encroachment and possession of illegal arms and drugs.
The Myanmar government blacklisted 15 Thai journalists and columnists, accusing them of belittling the government and writing anti-Myanmar articles in 2002, the year that northern border relations between Thailand and Myanmar had turned sour. The Thai army that year also accused the Myanmar government of being behind drugs manufacturing by the United Wa State Army in Myanmar’s Shan State.
Those blacklisted have not been given any visas to travel to Myanmar since then. The journalists were not named, but some work for the Bangkok Post and The Nation.