Published on Wednesday, 19 June 2013 20:37
The Myanmar government has turned down an offer made by Thailand to lease a white elephant for a celebration of the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The Thai delegation made the offer on June 13 during the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation held in Bali, according to an announcement published on the President's Office website on Tuesday.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wunna Maung Lwin replied that it would be inconvenient to transport the white elephant to Chaing Mai, where Thailand intents to display the elephant, and suggested that they should arrange special flights for Thai people to visit the animal in Naypydaw.
"The White Elephant Excursion tour would help develop the bilateral relationship between Myanmar and Thailand," said the Minister.
Myanmar has a total of eight white elephants, two males and six females. White elephants are traditional symbols of power and prosperity in both Myanmar and Thailand. The two countries once fought a war over ownership of white elephants in the 16th century.