Aung San Suu Kyi.jpg
Photograph: EPA/HEIN HTET

The visit to Thailand by Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi was held under tight control by Bangkok's military government on Thursday.

Suu Kyi, in her first visit to Thailand since taking power in November, was due to meet with workers at the Mahachai port in Samut Sakhon province, where she was expected to hear concerns from members of the million-strong Myanmar diaspora that forms a significant part of Thailand's manual labour force. 

The Thai military junta however forbade access to tens of thousands of workers that had made their way to see her and only allowed several hundred pre-approved workers into the venue. 

The rest were stuck in the rain outside hoping to catch a glimpse of their hero as Thai police escorted her into the venue. 

"There are thousands waiting outside but the government only let in several hundred workers from nearby factories," said Andy Hall of the Migrant Workers Rights Network. "This is ridiculous."

In Bangkok, the military also shut down a panel at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand which was holding an event to discuss the treatment of the Rohingya, an ethnic-Muslim minority in Myanmar that faces discrimination.

The Myanmar government's treatment of Rohingya's has been a concern for human rights defenders and a point of criticism directed at the Suu Kyi government, which has refused to even refer to the Rohingya by their self-designation, but instead chooses to call them the Muslim-population in Rakhine state. 

Suu Kyi will meet with Prayut Chan-ocha, the head of Thailand's military government, on Friday to discuss bilateral ties and the working conditions of migrant workers.

The trip marks Suu Kyi's first visit to Thailand since her National League for Democracy party won Myanmar's historic election in November, completing the transition to a civilian government.

Suu Kyi is Myanmar's State Counsellor, a position she created after being constitutionally barred from serving as the country's president. She has said her position is "above the president." 

Related stories

US to lift sanctions on Myanmar's new democratic government

Japan pledges 800 billion yen in aid to Myanmar

Aung San Suu Kyi arrives in China for critical talks

Latest news

New Zealand PM: We need migrants as 'locals can't pass drug tests'

New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English said Monday his country has to rely on immigrant workers because many locals can't pass workplace drug tests.

No early parliamentary election in Serbia this year - media

There will be no early parliamentary election in Serbia this year, electronic media in Belgrade said on Sunday.

Full list of 2017 Oscar winners

A list of winners at the 89th Academy Awards:

"Moonlight" wins best picture after on-stage Oscars mixup

The coming-of-age drama about an African American boy growing up gay in a poor neighbourhood in Miami was made for just 1.5 million dollars. Its director and co-writer, Barry Jenkins, hadn't made a film in years. And it was up for the best picture prize against "La La Land," the smash hit musical that tied the record for Oscar nominations this year.

Emma Stone is best actress in winning night for 'La La Land'

Emma Stone won the best actress Oscar at the 89th Academy Awards for her role in the movie musical "La La Land" on Sunday.

Casey Affleck wins best actor at Oscars

Casey Affleck won the best actor trophy at the Oscars in Los Angeles on Sunday for his portrayal of a taciturn janitor with a troubled past in "Manchester by the Sea."

Thousands of Romanians revive anti-government protests

Thousands of Romanians turned out on Sunday to renew their demands for the government to step down amid accusations it is trying to protect corrupt politicians.

Francis, first pope to visit Anglicans in Rome, weighs S Sudan trip

Pope Francis became the first leader of the Catholic Church to visit the Anglican community in Rome on Sunday, where he said he was considering a trip to famine-struck South Sudan.

Ibrahimovic lifts Man United past Southampton in League Cup final

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored an 87th-minute winner as Manchester United beat Southampton 3-2 in an exciting League Cup final on Sunday.

London screens Iranian director's film amid Oscars boycott

Thousands of people watched a free screeening of Iranian director Asghar Farhadi's film "The Salesman" in London on Sunday to coincide with the Oscars.

Real Madrid stage comeback to stay top; Messi scores in Barcelona win

Lionel Messi scored the winner as Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 on Sunday to move top of the Spanish first division.

Dubrovnik Sun Gardens Hotel member of The Leading Hotels of the World

The Dubrovnik Sun Gardens Hotel has joined the Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd., a global hospitality consortium of more than 375 hotels and resorts in over 75 countries.