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Army chief is hard-working, decisive, na ja?

Posted by pakin On July - 28 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Since the coup took place on May 22, General Prayuth Chan-ocha hasn’t had a day off. And some days he works past midnight.

As the chief of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), the general must feel a heavy burden on his shoulders.

He has vowed to “return happiness” to Thais after the political turmoil they have endured and the heavy toll this has taken on the economy and society over nearly a decade. The mission is noble, but many believe it may be difficult to accomplish.

Yet as time goes on, his dedication has become very evident.

Prayuth is always there when key decisions need to be made. Although the NCPO’s deputy chiefs are working hard to help run the country, they need to consult him occasionally.

During the past two months, the list of meetings he has had to attend is long.

Every Friday, he also goes on TV to communicate and stay in touch with the public via his “Return Happiness to the People” show. The programme is very similar to programmes recent Thai prime ministers hosted during their time in office. Before she lost the top job, Yingluck Shinawatra talked to Thais via the “PM Yingluck Meets the People” programme.

By hosting a weekly programme, Prayuth is clearly deter?mined to pursue the goals set out by the NCPO. He has also proven his ability to tackle state affairs, not just military affairs.

He is still at the helm of the Royal Thai Army but to many observers, he looks set to become the new prime minister soon.

The general is known to be decisive and quick when analysing things. He has also been inspiring.

Given his sometimes loud voice, people who have no previous work experience with him may get a little shaken. But for military officers or reporters familiar with him, he is not without a sense of humour.

And he often concludes his speeches with: “I am going now, na ja.” Or with this: “Go home safely, na ja.”

“Na ja” reflects politeness and friendliness.

Military-beat reporters, therefore, often call him “Big Too Na Ja”. Too is his nickname and big is often used to describe a general.

Happy siblings reunite in Paris

Posted by pakin On July - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Thaksin’s children post pics of their father hugging Yingluck at airport

Former PM Yingluck Shinawatra has publicly reunited with her brother former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, who is in self-imposed exile from Thailand, for the first time in almost six years.

Oak Panthongtae, Thaksin’s son, yesterday posted a photo on Instagram of Thaksin hugging a woman.

Meanwhile, Thaksin’s youngest daughter Paetongtarn posted another picture with a caption that read, “Brother and sister after not seeing each other for three years. Family is everything.”

The woman was later confirmed to be Yingluck.

The former premier left Thailand early yesterday to meet her brother in Paris for his 65th birthday celebration tomorrow.

Yingluck encountered an army of reporters at Suvarnabhumi Airport at 10pm on Wednesday when she arrived to check in for her flight to Paris. Yingluck, accompanied by her son Supasek Amornchat, departed Bangkok on Thai Airways International Flight 930, which left for Paris five minutes after midnight. She earlier told reporters at Suvarnabhumi Airport that she would return to Thailand on August 10 as scheduled.

“I want to take a vacation. Let’s talk after I’ve come back,” Yingluck replied when reports shouted at her asking if she would come back.

Yingluck received permission from the ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to leave the country on a European trip some time between last Sunday and August 10.

It was reported that Yingluck and those accompanying her travelled to France with 15 pieces of luggage.

As well as Thaksin’s youngest daughter Paetongtarn, former foreign minister and deputy prime minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul was also seen at the airport. He said he had received permission from the NCPO to leave the country to attend the birthday event and was scheduled to return to Thailand on Sunday.

NCPO spokesman Colonel Winthai Suvari said Yingluck’s trip was a personal one. The NCPO considered on a case-by-case basis whether to allow people who had previously been subject to a travel ban to go abroad.

He said those permitted to go overseas this time are aware that their trips would attract attention so they would be unlikely to “act inappropriately”.

He said the media should not presume that Yingluck would not return.

In September 2006, Thaksin was ousted from office by a military coup while on a trip to the United States. On February 28, 2008 – some 17 months after he first left Thailand – the ex-leader returned home after the People’s Power Party won the first general election held after the coup and formed a government headed by Samak Sundaravej.

Just two months before the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division on Political Office Holders was due to deliver a ruling in a case against him in the Ratchadaphisek land case, Thaksin sought permission and was allowed to attend the Beijing Olympics with his then-wife, Pojaman. In early October 2008, the court found him guilty of conflict of interest and sentenced him in absentia to two years in jail.

He has not returned since then.

Rally leader Suthep Thaugsuban on Monday was released on bail after appearing in court for his involvement in the political violence in 2010, in which several people died and many more were injured.

Suthep, who had been kept in military detention after reporting to the National Council for Peace and Order, was freed on Monday and taken to Court to face the charges. His lawyer asked for the bail, using a bank account of Bt600,000 as the guarantee. The court prohibits him from travelling abroad and if he wishes to travel, he has to get permission from the Court.

Suthep missed an earlier court appearance on the same charges as he was busy leading the anti-government campaign. Former premier Abhisit Vejjajiva is also facing the same charge.

He is also facing summons on an insurrection charge for leading the anti-government protests against then prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Yingluck ‘well’, to be released soon

Posted by pakin On May - 24 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, as well as other leaders and co-leaders of both sides of the political conflict, are well, said a spokesperson of the coup makers.

They are staying in comfortable places with all the facilities and will likely be detained for another 3-5 days but not more than seven days, said Col Winthai Suvaree, the deputy spokesman of the army and the National Peace and Order Maintaining Council (NPOMC) in a press conference on Saturday.

Under martial law, a person can be detained without charge for no more than one week.

As for Abhisit Vejjajiva, a former prime minister and leader of the Democrat party, who had been released shortly after the coup had been announced, Col Winthai said the NPOMC based its decision to release on his role in the unrest.