Tuesday, September 13, 2011

PM asked to halt overseas trips

Sept 13, 2011
Bangkok Post

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra should put her overseas trips on hold and instead concentrate on urgent domestic issues such as flood mitigation, opposition chief whip Jurin Laksanavisit said on Tueday.

Opposition chief whip Jurin Laksanavisit (Photo by Pattanapong Hirunard)

Speaking after a meeting of opposition whips, Mr Jurin said the meeting agreed to forward three requests to the government:

The first request is for the government to stop working for just one person.

The Democrat Party core member did not name the person, but was obviously referring to fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The second request is for the government to stop the ongoing purge of government officials to serve its own political ends.

Mr Jurin said the third was for the prime minister to put on hold her overseas trips to and instead concentrate on urgent problems, such as flooding, plaguing the country, even though it is necessary that she visit Asean countries to introduce herself.

"The so-called Bang Rakam Model [of flood control] is only a marketing ploy, not a panacea for the problem. The government is too slow to act, and has left government agencies to work by themselves," said the opposition chief whip.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)

Government spokeswoman Thitima Chaisaeng said Prime Minister Yingluck’s official visit to Cambodia on Thursday will be for the benefit of the country, not for a meeting with ousted premier Thaksin as claimed.

Mrs Thitima was responding to a remark by Democrat leader and former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva that Ms Yingluck might have plans to meet her elder brother during her visit to Cambodia.

The spokeswoman said Mr Abhisit knew well that there is no international arrest warrant for Thaksin, but he had intentionally given false information to general public for more than two years.

She said the prime minister received a warm welcome during her visits to Brunei and Indonesia, and trade an investment ties between those countries have been strengthened as a result.

Thaksin is due in Cambodia on Friday for an extended stay which will include addressing economic and regional parliamentary forums.

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