Parliamentary speaker urges protection of Koh Tao suspects, just trial

Upper House speaker Khin Aung Myint yesterday sent a message to the speaker of the Thai National Assembly, calling for legal protection for the two 21-year-old Myanmar nationals accused of murdering two British tourists in Thailand last month.

Published on Tuesday, 14 October 2014 22:32

The message was sent after seeking parliamentary approval during a session of the Upper House held in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.

“Regarding the murder case, I discussed with experts from the political, economic and legal affairs commission and chairmen of the joint bill committee and parliamentary administrative affairs committee. And we decided that I, as Upper House speaker, should send a message to the speaker of National Assembly in Thailand,” Khin Aung Myint said.

The message calls for rights of the two Myanmar suspects to be protected and for justice to prevail. They were arrested over the brutal  murder of two young tourists on Koh Tao, a resort island the southern Thai province of Surat Thani.

The speaker said the Union government for its part was working energetically on the case.  The decision to send a message followed a motion from MP Khin Maung Yi, he added.

“According to international norms and standards any murder case must go to court for prosecution only after firm evidence has been collected. The court needs to hear the case without bias and must not regard the suspects as true culprits until a final verdict is reached to prove they are guilty,” Khin Maung Yi said while submitting his motion to the Upper House.

“Our Myanmar citizens feel sadness over this case and are waiting for justice. The two Myanmar nationals should receive justice and their full human rights should be respected. The government is also taking necessary measures. And the Upper House speaker has sent to message to Thailand today,” the MP told Eleven Media.

Even before the case – which has drawn global media attention – the speaker was focusing on the issue of Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand. He had discussed the issue with members of the Thai National Human Rights Commission during a visit to the country on September 4. 

During the discussion, Khin Aung Myint highlighted the importance of not only the plight of migrant workers themselves, but also the health and education of their family members

Both houses of Parliament have agreed to send Thailand a joint message regarding the case.