A special visit to Wharton by His Excellency Pisan Manawapat, the 44th Thai Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the US, marked one of the most important events for the Southeast Asia Club this year. Thailand is the United States’ oldest friend and close ally in Asia, with 197 years of enduring friendship. We are the first Asian nation to have formal diplomatic relationship with the US. This close relationship has survived 40 US Presidents, 6 Kings of Thailand, 26 Thai Prime Ministers and 13 coups (most of which were under military rule).
Last week, The Wharton Journal published an op-ed by Hunt Kushner (WG’15) on Ambassador Pisan’s visit (Speak No Evil: Wharton’s Engagement with Thailand). The author questioned from where the Thai government, currently under military leadership, derives its legitimacy.
This question was not a surprising one. I am certain Ambassador Pisan has often dealt with such concerns, even from President Obama with whom he had a meeting with at the White House earlier in February, as well as from The Washington Post, which recently published his op-ed about Thai political situation and the country’s commitment to democracy.
Originally posted by the Wharton Journal April 24, 2015