An opinion piece published Tuesday in the New Light of Myanmar followed Suu Kyi's trip to Thailand last week, her first outside Myanmar in 24 years. Thein Sein had been scheduled to attend the same international economic forum she attended, but his visit was canceled amid speculation that he was irritated at being upstaged and annoyed that Suu Kyi visited refugees on the Thai border.
Officials for both leaders, however, have denied any tensions. Myanmar officials said Thein Sein put off traveling to Thailand because he was busy with affairs at home.
The article, purportedly written by a U.S.-based Myanmar expatriate, called the two leaders "the hope of Myanmar." It urged them to continue the cooperation they began last year but warned that "this golden opportunity will be lost" if their fragile detente breaks down.
"We want no suspicion between the two leaders and between individuals and organizations behind them," the article said.
"We would also like to call on the two leaders to embrace a fine tradition that serves the sole interest of the people, setting aside differences, egoism and selfishness that were born together with the independence. Let our dream come true," it said.
The New Light of Myanmar article also included veiled warnings to Suu Kyi that she must follow "the rule of law." The article appeared to warn her over her party's support of recent public protests over power shortages and its intention to try to revise the country's constitution, which it considers undemocratic because its gives the military a special unelected say in government.
Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy party have endorsed reforms initiated by Thein Sein following decades of repressive military rule. Suu Kyi won a seat in the army-backed legislature in April, giving her an official role in government for the first time.
During her long years in opposition to Myanmar's previous military regimes, much of it spent under house arrest, Suu Kyi was regularly lambasted in the state-owned dailies as someone akin to a traitor. News coverage of her was negligible, but commentaries—often appearing under a pseudonym to allow a degree of deniability on the part of the government—were the usual vehicles for such criticism.
Tuesday's article, titled "To the leaders who are the hope of Myanmar," indicated that it was prompted by reports of tension between Thein Sein and Suu Kyi after Suu Kyi's visit to Thailand, where she cautioned against what she called "reckless optimism" in Myanmar's reform process.
Nyan Win, a spokesman for the National League for Democracy, said Tuesday that Suu Kyi's visit had not "adversely affected the relationship between the president and her."
"In her speeches in Bangkok, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has expressed her confidence in the president. There should not be any misunderstanding between them," Nyan Win said. "Daw" is an honorific for older women.
A spokesman for Thein Sein, Ko Ko Hlaing, said there is an "understanding" between the president and Suu Kyi, and that he did not believe their relationship had been affected by her trip.