Thai Princess Sirindhorn to Visit Burma in October

By Yan Pai 25 September 2015

Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, daughter of the country’s revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, will visit Burma next month.

The princess, who will be in the country from Oct. 3-6, will visit the coastal town of Dawei in Tenasserim Division before touring the National Museum in Naypyidaw, according to Burma’s deputy commerce minister Than Swe.

The minister, who was informed of the princesses’ plans by the Burmese ambassador to Thailand Win Maung, said she would visit two pagodas in Dawei thought to be built by Siamese kings—the Auragalon Pagoda in Sinseik Ward and Octagonal Pagoda in Konwundat Ward.

The area of present day Tenasserim Division was part of the Hanthawaddy Kingdom that ruled lower Burma from the late 13th to the mid-16th centuries. After the Burmese-Siamese War of 1759-1760, King Alaungpaya reestablished Burmese authority in Tenasserim as far down as Dawei.

Than Shwe said he was unsure if Princess Sirindhorn would visit the long-stalled Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ), a controversial project backed by successive Thai governments which is reportedly under development again after years of delays due to financing difficulties.

The princess has made several visits to Burma, the first in 1986 at the invitation of the late dictator Gen Ne Win. In 1994, she made a two-day cross-border trip to Kengtung and Tachilek in Shan State.

Almost 10 years later, on her third visit to Burma in 2003, the princess spent five days visiting Pegu, Mandalay, Muse, Puta-O in Kachin State and Mrauk-U in Arakan State.

In a 2010 trip, she visited a school and hospital in Irrawaddy Division established with donations by the Thai royal family in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis.