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Former FM Surin to be remembered at Rangsit academic forum

Nov 14. 2018
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By Marisa Chimprabha
The Nation

An academic forum will be held later this month to mark the one-year anniversary of the passing of ex-foreign minister and Asean secretary general Surin Pitsuwan.

The forum, entitled “Continuing the Ideology of Dr Surin Pitsuwan – From Islamic Studies to the World”, is being organised by Rangsit University in cooperation with the Office of Islamic Committee of Bangkok and Pratheepsat Islamic School.

It will be held on November 27 from 1.30pm to 4.30pm at Rangsit University. Surin died at age 68 on November 30 following an acute heart attack at his home. He was taking a rest after giving an interview to Japanese media, and was scheduled to give a lecture in the afternoon when he suffered the attack.

He was rushed to nearby hospital, but doctors said he passed away on the trip.

The forum was initiated by his family, and made possible by those who knew him from his time as a Democrat Party politician, high ranking diplomat and Asean bloc chief.

Privy Councillor member General Surayud Chulanont will give the opening address at the forum while Arthit Ourairat, president of Rangsit University, will deliver the welcome speech.

Surayud, then Thai prime minister, nominated Surin as a candidate for the position of Asean secretary general which he won.

The keynote speakers will be Musa Hitam, Malaysia’s former deputy prime minister and home affairs minister, Asean deputy secretarygeneral AKP Mochtan, Morocco Ambassador to Thailand Abdelilah El Housni, and Aroon Boonchom, Senior Advisor to Sheikul Islam & Chairman of Bangkok Metropolitan Islamic Committee as well as former director general of the World Trade Organisation Supachai Panitchpakdi.

There will be a video address by Phra Vajiramedhi.

The speakers at a second academic forum, entitled “Dr Surin Pitsuwan’s Ideology Towards Thai Community, Asean and the World”, will be Trairong Suvankiri, a former Democrat MP; Suvat Chiraphant, former ambassador and Surin’s chief of staff in the foreign ministry; and Samai Charoenchang, former Democrat.

Veteran journalist Suthichai Yoon will moderate. Other future events are expected to be organised in the memory of Surin.

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