July 31, 2007
The Constitution Drafting Assembly yesterday joined forces with governors across the country to distribute charter promotional materials and whip up enthusiasm for the August 19 referendum.
CDA chairman Noranit Sethabutr handed charter copies to Bangkok Governor Apirak Kosayodhin, who expressed his support for the campaign to encourage the city’s four million voters to vote. Apirak said he hoped that at least half of them would.
All the campaign launch ceremonies went off without incident, including in the restive southern border provinces.
In Nakhon Ratchasima, more than 10,000 representatives of 26 districts and six sub-districts took to the streets carrying green flags to encourage Korat natives to cast their vote in the plebiscite.
In Buri Ram, CDA member Karun Sai-ngam extolled the advances of the new constitution, which gives more power to citizens and their representatives to initiate political change. People would be more empowered to uproot corrupt politicians or officials, he said. Only 10,000 signatures would be needed to push for a constitution amendment, down from 50,000 in the 1997 constitution. Moreover, one-fifth of the lower house could move for a no-confidence debate against the prime minister, down from two-fifths of 500 MPs.
Narathiwat Governor Karan Supakitwilekkan urged constituents to pore over the constitution and express their opinion on it on August 19.
In Yala, apart from constitution copies, the CDA also distributed stickers with campaign messages to people who came to Provincial Hall.
Thousands of Pattani folk fanned out to encourage the vote. One group formed a dragon parade, others marched to the beat of Thai drums while Muslims joined in their own procession.
Mae Hong Son Governor Direk Konkleeb said he had instructed officials to campaign for people to vote. “It’s up to them whether they reject or accept the constitution,” he said.
In Ubon Ratchathani, CDA member Siwa Saengmani stressed that the supreme law of the land was strong on human-rights protection and checks and balances. “This constitution has the most complete monitoring mechanism. Ministers cannot use their power without being checked,” he said. The charter also guarantees that Thais enjoy 12 years of free education, he said.
Ubon Ratchathani Governor Suthee Makbun said the province aimed to encourage 80 per cent of its one million voters to make their voices heard.
From The Nation
Is this just another comedy show on TV ? A famous comedian “Tu” interviews PM Surayud, really?
No, it wasn’t supposed to be a weekend comedy show on prime ministerial television. It was in fact billed as Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont’s serious weekly interview on Channel 11 during which he answers tough, no-nonsense questions posed to him by the country’s top news anchors.Published on July 26, 2007.
But if you watched last Saturday morning’s programme with the kind of rapt attention I did, you could be excused for thinking that it was just another episode of “Comedian Sumo Tu’s Weekend Show”. In fact, for a few minutes, I was even misled into thinking that it was the first part of a Thai version of “Saturday Night Live!” – with someone resembling Thailand’s prime minister giving the comedian a hard time instead of the other way round.
To my great surprise, I discovered that the man was actually Premier Surayud. To my even greater surprise, the premier even appeared to be enjoying himself on the air.
I could sense that Charaspong “Tu” Surasvadi was trying extra hard not to be funny. Perhaps, he wanted to prove that he could be a dead-serious and provocative TV anchor. And if you looked closely enough, the usually solemn premier looked as if he were happy for the first time to be fielding questions in this weekly series of “Open up Baan Phitsanulok” interviews.
July 28, 2007
Baht, How much value it really is?
July 27, 2007
The government is expected to launch a website next month to counter former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s official website that went live yesterday.
He said yesterday that the administration’s website would explain its position to counter “false information” from its opponents.
“The ‘war room’ will take responsibility for the website and there will be Thai and English versions,” he said, referring to the PR team. The website is expected to be launched on August 15.
Truethaksin.com, which is in English, went online after 6pm after Noppadon Pattama, Thaksin’s legal adviser, held a press conference to launch the site on Thursday.
Its displays a large image of Thaksin along with the message: “The truth shall set you free”.
The site gives Thaksin’s view of the political situation after the coup, legal issues including the junta’s charges against him and his view on the freezing of his assets.
There is also a section labelled “The Dawn of the Modern Dark Age” criticising the military-appointed government.
From The Nation
July 27, 2007