RA’s Thailand News Blast – Dec 28, 2011
Despite some disappointments with the current government, a recent Bangkok poll indicates that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is the most popular Thai politician. Former PM Thaksin Shinawatra has asked the members of his Pheu Thai party to refrain from revenging themselves on the opposition, after party spokesperson Prompong Nopparit threatened that PT would retaliate against any attempts by the Democrats to have their leaders removed. Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul says he would wager all of his money on the Democrats being unable to substantiate allegations made regarding Thaksin, Burma, natural gas and personal interests, as Chavanon insists that it would be illegal to issue a passport for Thaksin. Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva wants the Prime Minister to promise the public that lese majeste will not be amended. Pheu Thai MP Nuttawut Saikuea says that the party currently has no plans to amend the law at present, but urges the public to hear both sides of the argument, while Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm says that the party will strongly oppose any LM amendments. Sodsri Satayathun, the election commissioner, says that a public hearing should be held before any constitutional amendments are made. Defence Minister Yutthasak Sasiprapa wants the Ministry and the government to monitor internet usage to determine who is posting content related to LM. Yutthasak has promised that the army will take extra care to ensure the safety of the Thai people on New Year’s Eve. Prayuth Chano-cha, the army chief, has extended his good wishes to the Thai people for 2012, and vowed to protect the interests of Thailand and the monarchy, sending hundreds of military police to monitor volatile areas. He commented earlier that a recent survey of public response to the Ministry of Defence’s handling of the flood shows overall satisfaction.
PHOTO: Veera Somkwamkid, former leader of Thailand’s People’s Alliance for Democracy (Yellow Shirts), greets people as he is escorted by Cambodian police at the appeal court in Phnom Penh, December 28, 2011. SAMRANG PRING/Reuters