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Thai PM Supports Burma's Referendum, Aung San Suu Kyi's Detention


Thailand's Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej has voiced his support for Burma's planned referendum on a new constitution.

Speaking with reporters Wednesday in Bangkok, Mr. Samak said Burma's military leaders told him they had no plans to release detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. He added that Thailand has no problem with her house arrest, which is condemned by the international community.

The new draft resolution bars people married to foreigners from running for political office, including Aung San Suu Kyi who is the widow of a British citizen. The democratic opposition leader has been under house arrest for 12 of the past 18 years.

Mr. Samak spoke after a meeting today with Burmese Prime Minister General Thein Sein in Bangkok. General Thein Sein refused to speak with reporters after the meeting.

The government says that after the referendum is held on May 10, the country's new constitution will lead to multi-party elections in 2010. The opposition says the constitution was drafted by the military and guarantees the military will control power in Burma.

Mr. Samak also said Wednesday that Thailand and Burma signed agreements on natural gas production in the Gulf of Mataban and on joint cooperation in fighting drug trade along common borders.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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