News / Asia

Thai Prime Minister Meets Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, right, stands with Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a meeting at the Thai Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar, December 20, 2011.
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, right, stands with Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a meeting at the Thai Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar, December 20, 2011.

Political analysts say Thailand and Burma are looking to rebuild business relations after a two-day visit by Thai Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra.

The visit included moves to expand business and economic ties, but what drew the most attention was a half-hour meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi.  The meeting was the Burmese opposition leader's first with a head of government since her release from house arrest last year.

Aung San Suu Kyi is preparing to stand as a candidate in a by-election in early 2012.  A Thai government spokeswoman said Yingluck had offered Aung San Suu Kyi her support in the by-election.

Earlier, in a meeting with Burma’s President Thein Sein, Yingluck expressed support for Burma’s efforts to reconcile with the country’s ethnic communities.  She also called for an expansion of business ties.

A political scientist at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, says the meeting between Yingluck and Aung San Suu Kyi would also boost the Thai Prime Minister’s political credentials in Thailand.  

Thitinan said favorable ties with Burma are vital for Thailand.

“It is the most important country for Thailand in terms of trade, investment, labor and Thai economic and Thai energy dependence on Burma/Myanmar gas and supply in the coming years.  Right now we already have more than 20 percent of our natural gas in Thailand being imported from Myanmar/ Burma,” Thitinan said.

In Thailand, media coverage of the visit was overshadowed by comments from Yingluck’s brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who said he had visited Burma last week “to help smooth the way for his sister.”

Thaksin was known for having a close relationship with Burma’s former military government and remains a deeply divisive figure in Thailand.

Thailand, together with China and Singapore are major investors in Burma.
International sanctions have limited foreign investment in Burma due to the government’s human-rights record.  But further economic and political reforms are expected, which could ease sanctions and lead to more investment.

But the secretary of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners in Burma, Tate Naing, warns those benefits may not be equally distributed.

He says further economic reforms may benefit business people closely aligned with the government and lead to land confiscation.

One of the biggest companies working in Burma is the Thai contractor, Italian Thai Development, which is building an estimated $4-billion deep sea port and industrial zone at the Dawei Port in Southern Burma.

Thailand’s oil and gas producer, PTT Exploration and Production, has a third gas field expected to come on line in 2013.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid