Dr Surin Pitsuwan, 1949-2017, RIP

The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand expresses its condolences to the family and many friends of Dr Surin Pitsuwan following his sudden and untimely passing in Bangkok on Thursday. He was a young 68 with a great deal still to offer.

Surin was a good friend to the FCCT over many decades. He participated in numerous lively panel discussions in the 1980s when he was an admired young academic and newspaper columnist on the verge of breaking into politics as an elected member of parliament.

As foreign minister in the late 1990s, he engaged directly with the local and foreign media to find ways of improving the coverage and understanding of Thailand. He deployed those same communication skills on behalf of ASEAN when he served as its secretary general from 2008 to 2012.

Surin was a polished diplomat and effortless public speaker who exemplified many of Thailand's best traits, not least good humour and tolerance. His contribution to public life in Thailand, ASEAN, and beyond will be missed by many.

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