ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Suu Kyi’s historic trip abroad concludes
Suu Kyi, Myanmar's opposition leader, pledged to help remedy healthcare and education problems inside the huge camp, while urging sponsors of the facility to review their plans to cut its funding.
Withdrawing financial support would adversely affect the welfare and quality of life of the 49,000 Myanmar refugees, who come from various ethnic groups, she said.
Financial backers should reconsider their budget-cutting plans, as the European Union is moving to reduce financial support for the camp due to the euro-zone crisis.
During her visit to Mae La camp, which is in Mae Sot district about 10 km from the border with Myanmar, several thousand refugees continuously shouted "Mae Suu, Mae Suu" (Mother Suu).
Suu Kyi said after visiting the shelters that she will discuss ways of increasing quality of life and boosting support to refugees with organisations in her country involved with their welfare, as well as with international organisations.
However, she said she had no plan to discuss the issue with the Myanmar government yet. She said that the plan to visit refugees was her initiative and that her party has put the issue on its agenda.
Suu Kyi thanked Thailand for helping the Myanmar refugees.
"The major concern of refugees is that they want to ensure that they would not be forgotten by their home country," Suu Kyi said, adding that she hopes these refugees will someday have a chance to go home.
When asked about Myanmar President Thein Sein's decision to cancel his plan to visit Thailand, Suu Kyi said she didn't know the reason for the cancellation.
Suu Kyi's visit to Bangkok to attend the World Economic Forum on East Asia on Thursday and Friday was her first overseas trip in 24 years.
This month she will travel to Norway to receive the Nobel Peace Prize she won while she was under house arrest in 1991.
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