Thailand's first woman PM is chief guest at Republic Day

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra Thursday became the third consecutive leader from South East Asia to be the chief guest at India's Republic Day parade.

Shinawatra, who took over the reins of the Thai government in August 2011 at age 44, is in India on a two-day state visit beginning Wednesday at the invitation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

This is her first visit to India as prime minister.Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a military veteran himself, and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak were chief guests at the 2011 and 2010 Republic Day parades.

This is only the second time in over five decades that a woman head of state or government is the chief guest. Queen Elizabeth II was in India in 1961 as chief guest.

A businesswoman-cum-politician, Shinawatra is Thailand's first woman prime minister.
Shinawatra is accompanied by a high-level ministerial delegation, senior officials and a business delegation.

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