Burma says no to hire white elephant to Thailand

( Yangon, 19 June 2013) : The Burmese government has refused  a proposal from its neighbour Thailand to hire its white elephant citing the reason of tricky transportation, said a report in New Light of Myanmar today.


The Thai government earlier wanted to hire the white elephant from Burma (Myanmar) for six months as a goodwill gesture.

Burmese foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin has appraised the decision of his government to his Thai counterpart Surapong Towichchaikul during their meeting in Indonesia on June 13, added the Burmese government controlled daily newspaper.

Earlier the Thai deputy Prime Minister, Surapong Towichchaikul, who also holds the portfolio of foreign ministry, disclosed his government’s interest to hire the white elephant on a rental basis as a sign of 65th anniversary of Thai-Myanmar diplomatic relationship.

Both the ministers met in the sideline of Forum for East Asia- Latin America Cooperation Meeting held in Bali of Indonesia.

The Thai minister revealed that they would keep the Burmese white elephant in the Chiang Mai zoo for public viewing commemorating the goodwill relationship with the people of Burma for more than two centuries.

However, the Burmese foreign minister pointed out that the task of sending the elephant to Thailand would be difficult and hence U Wunna Maung Lwin proposed his Thai counterpart  to arrange special flights from his country to Burma. It will help the Thai people to witness the white elephant and also assist the Burmese tourism industry to grow in addition to the improvement of Thai-Burma relationship, asserted the Burmese minister.