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Yingluck visits Chiang Rai

Posted by Nuttapon_S On February - 26 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Wednesday morning flew from the Royal Thai Air Force airport to Chiang Rai, where she was greeted by hundreds of supporters on her arrival.

After officially receiving salute from local police, Yingluck chaired a meeting at Chiang Rai police command on the suppression of drug smuggling.

Deputy police chief General Pongsapat Pongcharoen, in charge of drug suppression, was also there. Caretaker Cabinet members accompanying Yingluck to the north included Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt, Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan and his deputy Visarn Techateerawat, Deputy Minister of Education Sermsak Pongpanit. The PM’s deputy secretary-general Pol Maj-General Thawat Boonfueng also accompanied her.

NACC member rules out double standard in rice graft probe

Posted by Nuttapon_S On February - 26 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS
BANGKOK, Feb 26 – The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has rejected charges of double standards in its investigation of alleged corruption in the government’s rice pledging scheme.
NACC member Vicha Mahakhun said the investigation was jointly conducted by all NACC members, and emphasised that they could never be influenced by anyone to be biased.
He was referring to caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s statement on her Facebook page, questioning the NACC’s transparency and neutrality investigating her role in the rice scheme.
The NACC has summoned Ms Yingluck to acknowledge corruption charges tomorrow, in her capacity as chairperson of the National Rice Policy Committee.
Mr Vicha said the prime minister would be required to personally acknowledge the charges but she could postpone it if necessary.
If she fails to show up, the NACC will mail the accusation documents to her, and she can explain in writing or verbally, he said.
Mr Vicha ruled out any NACC double standards in the case against the current government and an earlier case regarding the Abhisit Vejjajiva government’s rice guarantee programme.
Investigation of the government-to-government rice deal by the Yingluck government began in December 2012 which is more than a year ago, not only 21 days as alleged by the Pheu Thai Party, he said.
He said the NACC’s investigation of the Abhisit government’s rice guarantee has been delayed due to insufficient evidence despite the NACC’s repeated requests for documents from related government agencies.
The NACC was always told by government agencies that the required documents on the government’s rice stocks in 2009 and 2010 (in the Abhisit government) were damaged and lost in the massive 2011 floods, said Mr Vicha.
He said the NACC would conclude its investigation, as demanded by the Pheu Thai Party and make public, calling on the pro-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship to stop pressuring the NACC.
Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit said the party’s legal team was wrapping up a petition requesting the NACC to remove Mr Vicha from the rice corruption case.
He said Mr Vicha was charged with prejudice and double standards in the corruption charges against Ms Yingluck.
The next move is to seek endorsements from 20,000 people to lodge a complaint with the Senate president to remove Mr Vicha from the NACC, he said. (MCOT online news)

PM Yingluck criticises NACC’s charges against her

Posted by Nuttapon_S On February - 20 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

BANGKOK, Feb 20 – Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra today deplored the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) for hurriedly gathering charges of neglect of duty against her in connection with the rice pledging scheme.

In a long statement on her Facebook page, Ms Yingluck, who has failed to appear in public since yesterday said it should not be possible for NACC to press charges against her after only 21 days of investigation unless there is a hidden agenda.

She said she has performed her duty as prime minister in the past two years with honesty to protect the national interest but the NACC’s decision to investigate the Democrat Party’s allegations against her, as stated in a letter to her on Jan 31, could be unfair to her for she should be given enough time to find witnesses and evidence to defend herself.

The NACC unanimously decided to press charges of neglect of duty against Ms Yingluck in her capacity as chairperson of the National Rice Policy Committee (NRPC).

Ms Yingluck said she, as NRPC head responsible for policy making, was not authorised to order officials in the operational level or control them, and would like to exercise her constitutional right to check evidence and witnesses in order to clarify to the NACC over the allegations.

The caretaker premier added that she submitted a letter to NACC on Feb 11, requesting the appointment of a new member in charge of fact-finding investigation to replace Vicha Mahakhun.

Ms Yingluck said she was surprised that she has not received any response from NACC concerning her two requests but learned during the NACC press conference on Tuesday that the person she opposed has remained in the agency.

The NACC spent only 21 days in wrapping up the case and branding her a criminal suspect, she said, a practice that has never before happened, particularly when compared to the NACC investigation into rice distribution irregularity allegations leveled against the Abhisit Vejjajiva administration.

There was no development in the rice corruption charges against the previous government, she said.

Stressing honesty in running the country, Ms Yingluck said the rice pledging scheme was positively meant to help farmers and that she would cooperate in providing facts and information in the hope that she would be treated fairly.

“I will still lend my full cooperation and give necessary information to the NACC. It is also my fervent hope that the NACC will listen to all accounts of the witnesses before delivering a verdict. The judicial process, under the rule of law, would provide the best opportunity for the accused to prove oneself,” she said.

“More importantly, if there were indeed true justice without any hidden agenda, the NACC would not have hurriedly investigated and delivered a verdict in such a manner that has allowed society to deem it as beneficial only to those who want to topple the government. And in comparison to previous cases that I have mentioned earlier, for example the rice scheme of the previous government,” said Ms Yingluck

The NACC must prove to the public that it has exercised its power righteously in accordance with the principles of the rule of law as stated under the Constitution, she concluded.

Ms Yingluck did not show up for work today at the office of the Permanent Secretary for Defence in Muang Thong Thani and called off her planned visit to the office of the Center for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO) on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road. (MCOT online news)

BANGKOK, Feb 18 – Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) unanimously decided today to summon caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to acknowledge charges of neglect of duty regarding the rice pledging scheme.

Ms Yingluck, in her capacity as chairperson of the National Rice Policy Committee, must appear before the NACC on Feb 27.

The charges relate to heavy financial losses to the state of as much as Bt200 billion (some US$ 6 billion) according to the NACC.

Vicha Mahakhun, a NACC member, said there is sufficient evidence and witnesses clearly pointing to Ms Yingluck’s awareness of corruption in the rice subsidy programme and rice distribution.

She had received a letter from NACC warning her that the rice subsidies would lead to massive corruption at every step in the process, he said.

Her failure to stop corruption has severely damaged the country and the NACC will investigate the case, said Mr Vicha, adding that Ms Yingluck had also received a warning letter from the Office of the Auditor General which told her to stop the project but she insisted on continuing it.

She was also informed of corruption in the rice pledging programme during parliamentary debates and from reports on the rice subsidy operations, supplied to her by chairman of the subcommittee on paddy pledging scheme, that the subsidies had created Bt200 billion in damages while many farmers did not receive payment.

Mr Vicha said Ms Yingluck has intentionally neglected her duty which has caused damage to the country and led to corruption. (MCOT online news)

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