BANGKOK, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- Thailand has worked with Myanmar to send a pilot group of 71 voluntary displaced Myanmar people back home on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The 71 displaced persons, who have been residing in Thailand for more than 30 years, all voluntarily chose to go back to Myanmar, according to Thai ministry of foreign affairs.
"Positive political development and the Peace Process in Myanmar in recent years played a significant role in encouraging the displaced persons to voluntarily return to their homeland," The ministry said in a statement.
The ministry called the return of these returnees "historic" and said the undertaking was under cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) with support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Thai and Myanmar government earlier agreed to further discuss on the return of the remaining persons in Thailand under Joint Working Group (JWG) on the Return of the Displaced Persons from Myanmar, during which Thailand has already proposed to host the first meeting by the end of this year.
Thailand has been providing shelters for displaced persons from Myanmar since 1984.
At present, there are more than 103,000 displaced persons living in nine temporary shelters in Thailand in Mae Hong Son, Tak, Kanchanaburi and Ratchaburi Provinces.
The first group of 71 persons comprises of six displaced persons from Tham Hin Temporary Shelter in Ratchaburi Province and 65 from Nupo Temporary Shelter in Tak Province.
Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counselor of Myanmar, said during her visit to Thailand in June that she wanted to take all the displaced home.
"What we want is that all people displaced from our country should come back to us and should come back to the kind of conditions which they will never want to move again," Suu Kyi said in a joint press conference with Thai prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on June 24th.