Late Surin Pitsuwan praised for achievements

Late Surin Pitsuwan praised for achievements

Surin Pitsuwan raises the Asean charter during his speech on the 50th year of the organisation at the Bangkok Post Forum on Nov 16, 2017. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)
Surin Pitsuwan raises the Asean charter during his speech on the 50th year of the organisation at the Bangkok Post Forum on Nov 16, 2017. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

The country and Southeast Asia are in shock by the sudden death of former foreign minister and Asean secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan.

Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva called his death a great loss not only for the party but also for the nation and the world.

Surin never changed his political banner since his first poll contest for the party in Muang district, Nakhon Si Thammarat province, in 1986.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said his death was a great loss for the country.

The Foreign Ministry commended him for his key role in conducting the foreign policy when he was the minister from 1997 to 2001.

"Dr Surin played a key role in the conduct of Thailand's foreign policy. He contributed greatly to the advancement and interest of Asean, as well as the promotion of Asean on the international stage," the ministry said.

The Asean Secretariat called his death "a big loss to Thailand and the Asean community".

He took a break from politics to become the Asean secretary-general from 2008-12 before returning to the party.

Surin was chairman of the Future Innovation Thailand Institute, a think tank set up by the Democrat to design the future of the country.

Mr Abhisit has said the organisation worked independently and was not guided by his party.

Surin suddenly collapsed and died of acute heart failure on Thursday.


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