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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs   4 June 2014  

Thailand explains its coup at Singapore

 BANGKOK, June 2 -- Senior Thai authorities explained reasons for the May 22 coup in Thailand at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman.
Sek Wannamethee, director-general of the Department of Information, said a Thai delegation comprising Sihasak Phuangketkeow, permanent secretary for foreign affairs, a deputy supreme commander and a deputy permanent secretary for defence of Thailand attended the Shangri-La Dialogue, a forum for security issues in Asia and the Pacific.
He said that representatives of 28 counties attended the forum and the Thai authorities used it as an opportunity to explain local situations and reasons for the coup.
One of them was violent incidents that had escalated in the past six months.
Governments of 39 countries announced their stances and measures against it, he said adding that, it was understood that many countries are expressing their concerns and calling on Thailand to return to elections and democracy.
Mr Sek said "Thailand has been a friend of the nations for a long time and developed joint interest and cooperation in various fields. So the countries are urged to look at overall situations and long-term benefits before deciding on their stances towards Thailand. Importantly the NCPO (National Council for Peace and Order) has relaxed its measures and this shows gradual developments."
According to Mr Sek, the Thai permanent secretary for foreign affairs had bilateral talks with representatives of many countries including the United States, Australia, Japan and Germany.
Thai authorities expressed a negative response to Australia that downgraded its relations with the Thai armed forces and bans Thai armed forces chiefs from visiting the country.
They also elaborated on the NCPO's course of actions including those concerning national reconciliation, national reform and the next election so that the governments of other countries can review their stances towards Thailand.
Mr Sihasak also visited Myanmar, as the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), today to explain situations in Thailand.
Mr Sek admitted that Southeast Asian nations were concerned about situations in Thailand as they recognized the importance of the country, the economy of which was the second biggest in ASEAN.
They viewed that situations in Thailand could affect the region. Mr Sek said that Thai authorities confirmed that Thailand was ready to proceed with its proactive international roles and policies.

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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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