Myawaddy-Mae Sot Border Crossing Briefly Closed After Thai Coup

By Nyein Nyein 23 May 2014

CHIANG MAI, Thailand — The border-crossing checkpoint in Mae Sot, Thailand, was temporarily closed on Friday morning, but had reopened by 7:15 a.m. Burma time, according to Zaw Maw Aung, the district administrator for Myawaddy Township in eastern Burma’s Karen State.

Following the Thai military’s announcement that a coup d’etat had been staged on Thursday evening, reports in Thai media had speculated that all border checkpoints might be closed. Locals in Mae Sot said trading centers and other places typically crowded with merchants were empty early on Friday morning.

Zaw Maw Aung said the Burma side would be open for business as usual on Friday and until further notice.

“We heard from the Thailand-Myanmar Border Township Committee that meetings are being held in Bangkok [regarding the status of border crossings] and we will know later for sure their decisions.”

Border crossings at Myawaddy-Mae Sot are made formally—via the Thai-Burma Friendship Bridge—and “informally” by boats across the Moei River, which divides the two countries.

Bridge crossings are permitted from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. In March, the Bangkok Post reported that officials would extend the hours during which border crossings were permitted, but locals on the ground say no change has yet been made.