Chiang rai is surrounded by Beautiful Mountains but few people realize that Thailand is one of the world’s major mine-affected countries. According to a recent Landmine Impact Survey, unexploded ordinance (UXO) and landmines cover 2,560 square kilometres in 27 provinces. The affected provinces are along Thailand’s borders with Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia and Myanmar. The Thai-Myanmar border is a critical area as the fighting between government and rebel groups inside Myanmar continues. One hundred and thirty-nine Thai communities along the mountainous border are vulnerable to the dangers of anti-personnel landmines widely used in the fighting.
In 2009, Landmine and Cluster Munitions Monitor identified 18 mine/explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualties in Thailand. All casualties were injured; 13 were adult men, two were women, and another three casualties were children (two girls and one boy). Four casualties were military personnel and one a police officer. Most mine/ERW casualties occurred in incidents on the Thai-Cambodia border. The 2009 total represented a decrease from the 26 mine/ERW casualties identified in 2008. However as in past years, reporting was not comprehensive and thus trends can not be considered conclusive. The Thailand Mine Action Center (TMAC) reported 13 of the casualties in 2009 and 18 for 2009.
The most comprehensive casualty data collection for Thailand, including casualties both killed and injured, remains the Landmine Impact Survey (LIS), which identified at least 3,468 casualties to May 2001 (1,497 people killed and 1,971 injured). From June 1998 to the end of 2009, Landmine Monitor recorded 573 casualties in Thailand: 26 killed, 187 injured, and 360 of unknown status
In August of 2009 an elephant was injured along the mine-strewn border between Thailand and Myanmar. A 22-year-old female elephant had a foot blown off by a land mine. Read More…
The Royal Thai Armed Force’s Thailand Mine Action Centre recently released a statement saying it had managed to remove mines from about 40% of the 3.6 million square metres targeted. The mines were removed during TMAC operations between October and March this year.
The zone covers 810,000 square metres on the Thai-Lao border in Phetchabun, Loei, Phitsanulok, Uttaradit, Nan and Phayao and the Thai-Burmese border in Chiang Rai
TMAC head Lt Gen Annop Sirisak said 322,870 square metres in this zone has been cleared.
Landmine Survey Impact Report Thailand Click Here