Thailand says Myanmar preparing for refugee return
BANGKOK (AFP) - About 120,000 Myanmar refugees in Thailand may return home within a year, the kingdom's National Security Council said Thursday, following recent talks between the two nations.
Tens of thousands of people, many from the Shan and Karen ethnic minorities who have fled war, are housed in camps along Thailand's border, but the end of outright military rule in Myanmar has raised hopes they will return.
Myanmar "is clearing landmines along the borders, preparing to build shelters and other infrastructure... to be ready within one year", the NSC said in a statement, citing its secretary-general Wichean Potephosree.
Mr Wichean, who visited Naypyidaw last week, discussed the issue with Aung Min, a minister in the President's Office, who told him the former junta-ruled country will also provide training and jobs for the returning refugees.