Suu Kyi to Address Economic Forum in Bangkok

By Saw Yan Naing 24 May 2012

Burma’s pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi will travel to Bangkok on May 28 to deliver a speech at the World Economic Forum in the Thai capital from May 30 to June 1, her first overseas trip in over 20 years.

Nyan Win, the main spokesperson for National league for Democracy (NLD), told The Irrawaddy on Thursday that Suu Kyi will fly to Bangkok on Monday to attend the forum, but didn’t disclose further information about her schedule.

Burmese President Thein Sein will also attend the World Economic Forum on East Asia 2012 where he also is scheduled to deliver a speech. Other leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and international economic experts will also attend.

Under the theme, Shaping the Region’s Future through Connectivity, the summit will bring together over 450 leaders and experts to discuss how to ensure a competitive and connected region, as well as to reinforce ongoing integration efforts toward the proposed Asean Economic Community Blueprint, according to the summit’s website.

Burma observers in Bangkok said that Suu Kyi was personally invited by organizers of the World Economic Forum, and that she is due to meet with former Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva during her stay in Thailand.

The sources said that Suu Kyi wanted to visit a Burmese refugee camp on the Thai-Burmese border to meet with war refugees from Burma. There are some 150,000 Burmese refugees, mostly ethnic Karen, currently sheltering in Thailand at refugee camps.

Suu Kyi is scheduled to travel to the United Kingdom and Norway in June when she will address the British parliament.