THAILAND - The leader of an armed Karen group yesterday repeated his denial that he was involved in drug production and dealing, and said he would guarantee the safety of Thai anti-narcotics agents who entered areas of Myanmar under his influence for the purpose of verifying his claims.
Brig-General Nat Khann Mway was speaking at a press conference called in response to the recent revival of interest in a Thai arrest warrant for him.
Taunting Chalerm Yoobamrung, with whom he has engaged in a war of words, Nat Khann Mway of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) called on the Thai deputy prime minister to apprehend and imprison fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra before taking action against him.
Thaksin is viewed as the de facto leader of Chalerm's Pheu Thai Party.
"To keep the Thai law up to a high standard, Thaksin, who has been indicted and convicted of crimes, should be caught and imprisoned, but in my case there has been no evidence produced, only baseless allegations, which have affected me," the brigadier-general said.
"As a Karen with Myanmar nationality, I should be prosecuted and stand trial on Myanmar soil, even if I am indicted with sufficient evidence against me. Why keep hounding me and [try to] put me in a Thai court?" said Nat Khann Mway on behalf of the Klohtoobaw Karen Organisation, the DKBA's political wing, at an event protected by more than 500 fully armed DKBA fighters at a base across from Tak province.
Nat Khann Mway also asked why the nine-year-old warrant was being pursued now.
The issue had damaged him and the DKBA, which had been scheduled to take part in important negotiations, he said without elaborating.