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Release of Nicholas Cheeseman and his Thai colleague



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M EDIA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

ALEXANDER DOWNER

FA37 ' 1 April 1998

RELEASE OF NICHOLAS CHEESMAN AND HIS THAI COLLEAGUE

I am delighted with news tonight of the release of the Australian Volunteer Abroad, Nicholas Cheesman, and his Thai colleague, who had been detained at a Burmese village on the Thai-Burma border.

I know his family and all those concerned with his welfare are greatly relieved with his safe return to Thailand. I fully understand the stress his family has been under in these difficult circumstances.

I wish to thank the Thai and Burmese governments for their efforts to secure his release.

Thanks must also go to his employer, Burma Issues, to our Embassies and consular officials in Bangkok and Rangoon, and members of my department whose extensive efforts contributed to Mr Cheesman’s release.

While we are continuing to gather information on the events of the past few days we have treated this matter seriously from the start. All of our actions have been directed at protecting the welfare of an Australian overseas in potentially difficult circumstances.

ENDS

For further information: Innes Willox 0411 414-695

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