Thailand signs a deal to build a deep-sea port on ‘s coast. Burma
Following a trip to
Abhisit also conveyed to the generals international concerns over the upcoming Nov. 7 vote, but they shrugged them off.
According to a spokesman for the Thai prime minister, the generals replied that
The junta says the elections are part of its long-announced “roadmap to democracy,” but rights groups have dismissed it as a sham designed to keep the military in power.
The junta never allowed democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD), which won
Among those questioning the legitimacy of the vote was U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, who said it would not be credible without the release of political prisoners including Aung San Suu Kyi.
U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration has also criticized the elections but said it hoped a new government that emerged from the polls would bring about reforms.
“We’ve expressed our concerns about the upcoming electoral process, which we do not believe will be free or fair,” State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley said. “And we will watch events as they unfold in
Amid the election concerns,
The Thai prime minister also said he has been assured by his Burmese counterpart that a key Thai-Burmese border point at Myawaddy-Mae Sot will reopen soon.
An agreement signed during the trip includes construction of 100-mile (160-kilometer) road and rail links between Kanchanaburi in western
The projects are expected to cost billions of dollars and could be the largest single investment in
“Unlike the international community,
Thai foreign minister Kasit Piromya has even called the elections “a crucial step … lead[ing] to national reconciliation and unity,” Bower noted.