Archive for the ‘King’ Category

Thailand’s King Welcomes New Cabinet

February 6, 2008

February 6, 2008

Thailand’s king has sworn in a new cabinet packed with allies of Thaksin Shinawatra, the man the military ousted 16 months ago in a bloodless coup.

Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra speaking to reporters in Hong Kong (25/12/07)
Mr Thaksin has lived in exile since the September 2006 coup
Thailand’s Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej speaks during a news conference at the Government House in Bangkok February 6, 2008. Thailand’s new cabinet, packed with supporters of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, was sworn in by King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Wednesday, marking the return of elected government after a 2006 coup.
REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang (THAILAND)

The powerful defence, interior, foreign affairs and finance portfolios were all given to lawmakers loyal to the former prime minister.
New PM Samak Sundaravej took on defence while Noppadon Pattama, Mr Thaksin’s legal adviser, became foreign minister.

Read the rest:


Thailand: Cabinet to be formed Wednesday

February 5, 2008

BANGKOK, THAILAND: Cracks have begun to appear in the relationship between Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej and former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, as Samak wants to have a bigger say in forming the Cabinet and hang on to his premiership over the next two to three years.

According to sources familiar with the development, Samak is now causing trouble for Thaksin because he wants to have his own way in running the government. Shortly after his appointment as prime minister, Samak decided to reshuffle the list of Cabinet members presented to him by all six coalition partners. He found several of the candidates to be unacceptable.

His interference in the formation of the Cabinet resulted in the removal of Chai Chidchob and Srimuang Charoensiri from the list of candidates for portfolios in the Office of the Prime Minister and Energy Ministry respectively. Chai is the father of Newin Chidchob from Buri Ram.

“Samak is now causing a lot of headaches for Thaksin and Newin,” said one political observer.

Political sources said Samak had reshuffled up to 12 positions in the Cabinet list presented to him.

Samak led the People Power Party, a reincarnation of Thaksin’s Thai Rak Thai Party, to election victory. Thaksin is believed to have a great deal of influence in the PPP. The members of Samak’s Cabinet, including Samak himself, had earlier been looked upon as simply Thaksin’s nominees.

But Samak now wants to have his own way in forming the Cabinet and running the government. He gave an interview last week complaining that his Cabinet looked like “ugly ducklings”.

Later he explained that he would like Wuthiphong Chaisaeng to serve as deputy finance minister rather than Ranongrat Suwanchavi, the wife of Phairoj Suwanchavi. Samak has also brought in Sahas Banditkul, his long-time aide, to help him run the administration. Sahas is earmarked to serve as deputy prime minister.

Samak is expected to complete the Cabinet list for His Majesty’s endorsement on 6 Feb.

Samak’s intention to stay in office appears to run against the wishes of Thaksin, who does not mind an ugly-duckling Cabinet, according to political sources.

Sources say the ousted prime minister thinks the new government should last only for the short term – focusing on reforming the constitution or introducing amnesty legislation for the 111 former executives of the defunct Thai Rak Thai – before dissolving Parliament.

Political sources said Samak was willing to work on constitutional reform or amnesty legislation but only after he has been premier for the next two to three years – not six months.

Sources said Thaksin was so upset with Samak that he flew from Hong Kong back to London over the weekend.

Surapong Suebwonglee, who is expected to be finance minister, tried to play down the conflict in the Cabinet formation, saying there won’t be any rift among Cabinet members, particularly among the deputy prime ministers.

He said nobody had any objection to the arrival of Sahas as deputy prime minister, since Sahas will help Samak in the transport sector, which is one of Samak’s fortes. (The Nation/ ANN)

Thailand’s King Welcomes New Cabinet

Thailand: Banned Book Indicates “Fascist-Like” Regime

January 11, 2008

The (Australia)
January 11, 2008

Thailand’s banning of a rare “warts and all” biography of revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej could risk an eventual explosion of pent-up political tension, an academic says.

“Banning books is usually something we associate with fascist and repressive regimes,” Australian anthropologist Annette Hamilton told a seminar on the book The King Never Smiles at an international Thai studies conference in Bangkok on Thursday.

“When silence is enforced for a long time, noise – when it comes – is deafening.”

Read the rest:

Thailand shuts down political Web site

January 6, 2008
By SUTIN WANNABOVORN, Associated Press 

BANGKOK, Thailand – Thai authorities have shut down a political Web site that spoke out against the monarchy, the site’s operator said Sunday, in another move to punish critics of Thailand‘s most revered institution.

Visitors posted comments on the bulletin board, questioning claims in the Thai media that the entire country was in mourning over the death Wednesday of Princess Galyani Vadhana — King Bhumibol Adulyadej‘s older sister — and criticizing official calls for the public to wear black as a sign of mourning, said Thanapol Eiwsakul, who operated the site.

The Information and Communication Technology Ministry threatened local Internet provider Netservice with closure unless it took the action against, which was closed Friday, Thanapol said.

Read the rest: