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Jakarta Post

Pattaya incident: A sad day for ASEAN

  • Rizal Sukma

JAKARTA   /   Mon, April 13 2009   /  09:48 am

For the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), April 11, 2009, will be remembered as the day of a major embarrassment. The Thai government was forced to cancel the summit between ASEAN and its dialogue partners — the ASEAN+3 (APT) Summit and the East Asian Summit (EAS) — initially planned to be held in Pattaya. Hundreds of red-shirted pro-Thaksin protestors broke into the site of the summit and forced the government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to declare a state of emergency in Pattaya. ASEAN has clearly become a hostage to internal political struggle in Thailand, between pro-Thaksin forces and the government led by PM Vejjajiva. Earlier, political turmoil in the country also forced the Thai government to postpone the ASEAN Summit, which was later held in Hua Hin early this year. The postponement then was already seen as a major problem for ASEAN. Now, th...