Subin Khuenkaew, veteran journalist for Bangkok Post, who is reported to be on Burma’s blacklist, had already been permitted in May to cover the peace talks between the Shan State Army (SSA) ‘South’ and the Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC).
According to Bangkok Post, 16 August issue, President Thein Sein had pledged to visiting Thai defense minister Sukumpol Suwannarat yesterday that the names of 15 Thai journalists from the blacklist made in 2002 would be deleted as soon as he receives the list from his authorities.
The list was said to have been compiled during the height of the military confrontations between the two countries in 2001 and 2002.
Subin, 63, then told his name was on the list of the delegation headed by then Lt-Gen Wattanachai Chaimuenwong, Commander of the Third Regional Army, to meet his Burmese counterpart, then Maj Gen Thein Sein, Commander of Triangle Region Command, in Kengtung, 2-4 April. “I was informed only my name was scratched off,” he said at that time.
Subin was singled out from a group of journalists visiting Tachilek in 2002 by Burmese intelligence officers after a bombblast that damaged King Bayinnaung statue in the town center and driven back across the border to Maesai.
Mr Subin is known for his reports on Shan resistance movements and the cross-border drug trade.
He said understandably he was rather doubtful when Lt-Gen Yawdserk, Chairman of the Restoration Council of Shan State / Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA), had included his name in the list of journalists that would accompany him to Kengtung for the 19 May talks. “I felt relieved only after our bus left Tachilek (opposite Maesai) for Kengtung.”
Later, he met U Aung Min, key negotiator for the UPWC, who promised his name would be withdrawn from the official persona non grata list soon.
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