Ex-PM Chuan Leekpai in Phuket

PHUKET: Former prime minister Chuan Leekpai, currently adviser to the ruling Democrat Party, arrived in Phuket today to preside over the Baba Symposium 2011.

The one-day conference, being held at the Phuket Merlin Hotel in Phuket Town, brings together “Baba Peranakan” ethnic Chinese from throughout Ranong, Trang, Phang Nga and Phuket provinces.

Mr Chuan himself is of “Baba” origin. His forefathers were Hokkien Chinese who moved to Trang, where he was born.

Highlighting the continuing violence in Thailand’s three southernmost provinces – Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat – Mr Chuan said in his opening speech that for many years Baba Chinese lived together in peace in the Deep South, along with other foreigners and resident Muslims.

He said the violence had escalated since his term as prime minister. However, he did not hold the current government responsible for the increase in violent attacks.

It had only inherited “mistakes” by previous administrations, he said.

The former PM also called for members of the Baba Association to use their strength as a unified society to lead the way in developing the Andaman region.

Mr Chuan left Phuket this afternoon, flying back to Bangkok after having lunch with many officials, including Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha, MP Tossaporn Thepabutr and his wife Anchalee Vanich Thepabutr, who is currently Secretary General to the Prime Minister’s Office.

— Atchaa Khamlo

Phuket News

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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