Thein Sein pulls pin on visit to Thailand for WEF

29-May-2012 Intellasia | Bangkok Post | 7:01 AM Print This Post

Myanmar President Thein Sein has cancelled a trip to Thailand for an international economic forum that also invited opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, officials said Sunday.

“The president has no plans to go to Bangkok,” said a senior government official, who would not be named.

Thein Sein had been scheduled to make a speech about Myanmar’s future at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia which will be held in Bangkok on Thursday and Friday.

The government had also invited Myanmar’s president to visit the kingdom on Friday.

“Thein Sein’s planned visit was in response to a joint invitation from the WEF and the government,”

spokesman Thani Thongpakdi said. “We haven’t heard of a cancellation yet.”

Last week, the international forum invited Suu Kyi to the event, to the surprise of many, including her own party, the National League for Democracy (NLD).

“As the leader of a party, why should they invite her?” NLD spokesman Nyan Win said.

Suu Kyi will arrive in Bangkok tomorrow, visit a refugee camp on Wednesday and then attend the WEF as a guest speaker.

The Nobel peace laureate who spent 15 of the past 21 years under house arrest has been the leading opponent of military rule in her country over the past two decades.

Myanmar was ruled by the army during 1962-2010. It is now led by the Union Solidarity and Development Party, which is packed with ex-military men.

Thein Sein, who has pushed through political reforms since coming to power in March 2011, is a former army general. In August, he started talks with Suu Kyi, paving the way for her entry into mainstream politics via a by-election on April 1, in which the NLD won 43 out of 45 contested seats.


Category: Thailand

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