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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   18 February 2012

Thai opposition leader visits Myanmar

BANGKOK, Feb 18, 2012

 Thailand's Opposition and Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva on Saturday flew to Myanmar to meet with pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.

Mr Abhisit said before leaving for the neighbouring country that the meeting was arranged since his term as prime minister of Thailand.

The meeting is aimed at boosting national reconciliation and democracy development in Myanmar, said the Democrat leader, adding that he will exchange ideas with the Nobel Peace Prize laureate over the directions of change within Myanmar.

Mr Abhisit noted that Thailand's neighbour has changed rapidly and the phenomenon had an impact on the entire Southeast Asian region.

The ex-premier added that he planned to follow up the development of democratic process in Myanmar, as well as help forge cooperation between the two countries and further strengthen the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in which Thailand and Myanmar are fellow member countries.

The visit of the opposition leader came after Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra met with the National League for Democracy (NLD) party leader Aung San Suu Kyi last December, saying she supported the neighbouring country’s democratic process.

Ms Yingluck praised Ms Suu Kyi’s spirit and strong determination to boost democratic development in Myanmar constructively. She said Thailand was an ally and a close friend of Myanmar and wanted to see its neighbour continue development in every field.

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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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