New Delhi: 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.