6 June 2024

Pita Limjaroenrat, former Move Forward party leader, has appeared in New York to attend a gala dinner as “a leader defining the next generation of leadership” on the “TIME100 Next” list for 2023.

He had disappeared from the public eye for quite some time, after stepping down from the party leadership in September.

He posted series of photos of his time in New York on his Instagram account, which received hundreds of likes and comments. The photos show him riding the New York subway, walking along a New York street, sipping a drink at a roadside restaurant and standing in Times Square.

His followers commented, “Pita, you’re so handsome. You melt my heart”, “Although you could not be the prime minister of the country, you’re always PM of my heart” and “Don’t give up politics, we will support you forever.”

“If you decide to leave politics, you could be a model,” one fan wrote. It is reported that he hired a local Thai photographer to take the pictures.

Almost every media outlet in Thailand reported on his visit and the photos, with some carrying the headlines, “Pita is back” and “Pita returns to take back his fame”.

A Thai woman, Sirikornpon Deejaingam posted photos of Pita visiting her restaurant, Soothr Thai Noodle Bar in East Village, on Facebook.

“Thank you Khun Pita, you bring happiness to my restaurant, to me and my staff. I want to tell you that you’re so handsome,” she wrote.

On Tuesday (local time), Pita will attend a gala dinner hosted by TIME magazine. Pita, who almost became Thailand’s 30th prime minister, is the only Thai person listed by the US-based magazine among leaders whom they identify as shaping the future.

On Wednesday (local time) Pita will visit the Buddha Thai Thavorn Vanaram temple and meet with Thais. The following day he will give a lecture at Harvard University, entitled “Moving Forward: Thailand, ASEAN & Beyond”.

On Saturday, he will participate in a “Fireside Chat with Pita Limjaroenrat” as an MIT alumnus and meet with Thai students studying there.

He is also scheduled to hold discussions with academics, writers, business people and Thais working in creative industries.