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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                    20  September 2011

Natalegawa to assess Myanmar chairmanship bid

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Indonesia's Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa says the opinion of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and civil society will influence whether Myanmar is invited to chair the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2014.

Natalegawa said that he would travel to Burma in October as Asean assesses if the military-dominated country is on track, as it makes tentative steps toward reform.

He said Burma was extremely keen to take on the rotating chairmanship of the 10-member regional grouping, currently held by Indonesia. He described that as "an important opportunity to hasten change."

Natalegawa said: "I shall be keen to listen and to hear the voice of civil society, not least the voice of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi."



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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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