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PM Yingluck visits China

Posted by arnon_k On April - 17 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Tuesday morning left Suvarnabhumi airport for Peking on a three-day official visit to China, from today to Thursday.

Ms Yingluck will also attend the meeting of leaders of the Mekong River basin countries in Tokyo, scheduled for April 20-23.

Deputy Prime Minister Yongyuth Wichaidit will chair the cabinet meeting at Government House today.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra met Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito yesterday and wished his father Emperor Akihito, who underwent heart bypass surgery last month, a speedy recovery.

The prince thanked Ms Yingluck for her concern and for her planned visit to a tsunami-hit city in northeast Japan, the Imperial Household Agency said.

Ms Yingluck later went to Natori City in Miyagi prefecture to offer condolences and support for those affected by the March 11, 2010 earthquake and tsunami.

While there, the prime minister laid a wreath and observed a minute’s silence for the people who died in the tragedy.

Ms Yingluck also met about 100 Thai employees of Japanese firms, whose factories were affected by flooding in Thailand last year.

The Thai workers are working in Japan until the flood-ravaged factories are operational again.

She later visited a shelter for disaster victims in Medeshima to offer them moral support.

Ms Yingluck’s four-day visit to Japan is aimed at regaining investor confidence after flooding in Thailand last year.

However, Eleanor Warnock, writing in a blog for the Wall Street Journal said Ms Yingluck’s speech in Thai to the Japan Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday left many executives bemused.

For seven minutes, Ms Yingluck spoke to the hundred-strong audience without any accompanying translation, leaving many of the attending business leaders wondering quite what she was talking about, Ms Warnock wrote.

Delegates were handed a copy of her speech notes, translated into Japanese, but she chose to speak in Thai rather than in English.

Ms Yingluck then left the room in silence, smiling and bowing as she went.

PM to attend GSM summit in Naypyidaw

Posted by arnon_k On December - 14 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will attend the Greater Mekong Subregion summit in Burma next week.

The meeting in Burma’s new capital of Naypyidaw will bring together the leaders of Cambodia, China, Laos, Burma and Vietnam, Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman Thanee Thongpakdee said Wednesday.

Covering an area of 2.6 million square kilometres, the six countries formed a subregional economic cooperation programme in 1996.

The twoday GMS summit will start on next Monday.

Thanee said Foreign Minister Surapong Tohvichakchaikul and Energy Minister Pichai Naripthaphan will accompany the premier to Burma and will hold sideline bilateral meetings with their Burmese colleagues. High on the agenda will be cooperation on energy security, an important issue in today’s world.

As a developing country, Thailand is at the centre of the region and is in need of energy to drive the economy and develop the country.

“Therefore the meetings of the ministers will also reflect the foreign ministry’s role in strengthening cooperation for the benefit of both countries,” the spokesman said.

Early next year, they are scheduled to travel to Dawei (Tavoy) in Burma to discuss the cooperation in greater detail.

No problems with the military : PM

Posted by arnon_k On December - 14 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Prime Minister Yingluck Shina-watra was coy yesterday on the potentially explosive plan to wrest some control from the military by amending the Defence Ministry Administration Act, saying nothing would go against right “principles”.

Meeting military top brass for another day, the prime minister voiced confidence in the mutual trust between her government and the military, ruling out concern about being ousted by a coup like her brother Thaksin.

“I have confidence in my striving to serve the public and no one should speculate on my end because only the people can be the judge,” she said.

Yingluck was talking to reporters after her introductory visit to the Supreme Command headquarters.

She admitted that as the country’s first female prime minister, she had initial reservations about the Armed Forces but her concerns were allayed after meeting and working with the military leaders.

Defence Minister Yuthasak Sasiprapha led the top commanders to welcome her with all the usual pomp, including a guard of honour inspection, organised indoors to be spared the scorching sun.

Supreme Commander General Thanasak Patimapakorn accompanied the prime minister to tour the headquarters, including the main communications room where the joint chiefs of staff monitor the situation.

In her policy statement given to the military, Yingluck emphasised two security priorities: safeguarding the monarchy and bringing about reconciliation.

She said all her fellow Thais shared the same aspiration as the government and the Armed Forces to ensure national unity.

She said her government was looking forward to working with the Armed Forces, particularly the Military Development Corps, to improve the country’s infrastructure.

She said the government and the military had proved they could work together well during the flood crisis.

She pledged to back the military development and expected, in return, cooperation from the Armed Forces in dealing with security issues.

Regarding the push to amend the Defence Ministry Administration Act, she said she had not had time to review the issue and did not expect the debate on the provisions on military appointments to come up at this juncture.

“My priority is to work with the Armed Forces in addressing the people’s grievances,” she said.

Although certain Pheu Thai MPs might have wanted to amend the military provisions, the Cabinet would have the final say on whether to sponsor the proposed amendments, she said.

“We have to differentiate between people’s rights to say things they like and the fact that the final decision on such matters rests with the Cabinet,” she said.

The alleged plan to amend the act would give the government more power in key military reshuffles, which are currently in the hands of a defence committee dominated by top-ranking soldiers.

Yingluck said she had complete confidence in the Armed Forces, quelling speculation about distrust between the government and the military.