The Bangkok Post:
Burma’s democracy icon yesterday welcomed Thailand’s election outcome, which has paved the way for Yingluck Shinawatra to become the country’s first female prime minister.
“I like that she’s a woman but the most important thing is the relationship between the two nations and our people,” Mrs Suu Kyi told reporters on the second day of her visit to the ancient temple city of Pagan in central Burma.
“We also have to welcome the government democratically elected by the people,” she said, also expressing hope that ties with neighbouring Thailand would remain strong under 44-year-old Yingluck’s administration.
She praised the general election in neighboring Thailand on Sunday as “free and fair” and welcomed its winners, the opposition Puea Thai Party led by businesswoman Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
“I expect the ties between Myanmar and Thailand to get better,” she said.
BP: This takes BP back to some comments by Suu Kyi last year as the excerpt below reads:
A new government coming to power under a constitution drawn up by the military will never be stable,” he cited her as saying. “We do not need to see very far. We just see Thailand,” she said. “Thaksin was an elected person. The military seized the power from an elected person. The constitution was drawn up by the military,” she said.
“After that, what happened with the first (government)? It was not stable,” she said of the short-lived administration that followed the coup. “This was a result of the constitution being written by the military.”
BP: Back then, Panitan said she did not have enough information about Thailand whereas a Thai senator went further and suggested that Suu Kyi should be investigated to see if she had been paid….. Some comments:
1. This does not mean that Suu Kyi is a fan of Thaksin – see 2 for more. BP thinks she more likely dislikes the Thai military and establishment. She is hardly going to be for military coups, committees appointed by the military to write constitutions, and governments formed in a military barrack.
2. Yes, Thaksin was not a fan of the Burmese people, but did things really improve post-Thaksin? In 2007, when the Burmese military started killing protesters and monks, you first had silence by the Thai government and then the Burmese were defended by the Thai coup leader Gen. Sonthi. Even Kavi – who had hoped that Surayud’s government would bring about change – see here, here, here, and here – could only despair.
Then Abhisit’ government started under a cloud with the Rohingya being pushed back to see by the military and his failure to do anything. You also had concern that Thailand would deport Burmese refugees after last year’s election, particularly given the large scale deal to build a deep-water port and essentially export industries in Thailand that pollute too much, to Burma – see here and here. You also have to ask the question, given the support of Burma’s other neighbours for the regime and Thailand’s dependency on Burma for energy, does a Thai government really want to push change? BP doesn’t expect much of a change. Perhaps, Suu Kyi hopes for change, but realizes this too. Nevertheless, couldn’t resist a dig at the Thai military and establishment…