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Activist Veera Somkwamkid (photo) and his secretary Ratree Pipatanapaiboon were not freed during PM Yingluck's very short visit to Cambodia, but there were suggestions that they jail stay may be shortened. AFP photo 

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra poses for photos with her Cambodian counterpart Prime Minister Hun Sen who later promised to look into ways to speed up the release of the two Thai activisits now in a Phnom Pehn prison. AFP photo

Evening update:

Prime Minister Yingluck has completed her very short visit to Cambodia, arriving in the afternoon and leaving a few hours later. She did discuss the possible release of  Veera Somkwamkid and Ratree Pipatanapaiboon but Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen insisted that the law must be followed and that they both serve two-thirds of their prison term before a royal pardon can be granted. There is a loophole, however, that will likely be used to shorten their jail stay. Their sentences can be reduced, more than once if necessary.

release – allowing someone to go free การปล่อยตัว
insist – to keep saying very firmly that something is true ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
serve a prison term – to spend time in prison as a punishment มารับโทษจำคุก
pardon – an official decision to forgive someone for  committing a crime and to free them from punishment  การอภัยโทษ การนิรโทษกรรม
grant – to officially give something  ให้
loophole – a small mistake in an agreement or law which gives someone the chance to avoid having to do something ช่องโหว่ในกฎหมาย, จุดอ่อน, ข้อบกพร่อง
sentence – a punishment given by a court of law การตัดสินลงโทษ

Veera and Ratree: Hopes up for release

Click button to listen to Yingluck’s visit and rightclick to download

Can Yingluck bring back Veera and Ratree?

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra makes her first visit to Cambodia today.

Whether she likes it or not, the focus here in Thailand is on the possible release of two Thai activists, Veera Somkwamkid, a coordinator of the Thai Patriots Network, and his secretary Ratree Pipatanapaiboon, who have been imprisoned since December after being convicted of espionage and illegal entry.

Will Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen agree to ask for a royal pardon for the two as gesture of goodwill towards the Yingluck government and, of course, to his close-friend Thaksin Shinawatra, the prime minister’s older brother?

Yesterday the signals were mixed. At least one high-ranking Cambodian leader, a deputy prime minister, said prospects for the release of the two were very good.

However, Cambodia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday denied that a royal pardon was in the works.

"The ministry wishes to reconfirm that the case of these two Thai nationals will be processed in accordance with the law of Cambodia and that they will have to serve at least two-thirds of their prison term before a royal pardon could be considered," it said in the statement.

Prime Minister Yingluck herself said she would welcome the release of Mr Veera and Ms Ratree.

"I'd be glad if Cambodia agrees to release Mr Veera and Ms Ratree. As the prime minister it's my job to look after Thai people," she said.

Meanwhile, the two national leaders will have significant bilateral matters to discuss, especially the normalisation of the relations between the countries that have been soured by a sometimes violent border dispute.

They may also have a few words to say about Ms Yingluck’s older brother who will be making his own visit tomorrow.

Yesterday Mrs Yingluck insisted, that the two visits were not related.

"He [Thaksin] travels a lot and I don't know the details. I am visiting Cambodia as the head of the government," she said.
Adapted from a story in today's Bangkok Post Aekarach Sattaburuth, Pradit Ruangdit & Thanida Tansubhapol, plus TV sources. You can read the full story here: http://bit.ly/n6GREO

focus – the thing or person that people are most interested in  จุดสนใจ, จุดสำคัญ, จุดหลัก
release – allowing someone to go free การปล่อยตัว
activist – someone who takes part in activities that are intended to achieve political or social change, especially someone who is a member of an organisation นักกิจกรรม
coordinator – someone whose job is to organise the various parts of an activity and make sure that all the people involved work well together ผู้ประสานงาน
Thai Patriots Network – The group formed to pressure the Thai government into not approving any agreements which would result in the loss of territory to Cambodia เครือข่ายกลุ่มคนไทยหัวใจรักชาติ
imprisoned – in a prison or another place from which a person cannot escape ถูกขัง
convicted – having been proven guilty of a crime by a court of law ได้รับการพิสูจน์ว่ามีความผิดจริง
espionage – the activity of secretly getting important political or military information about another country or of finding out another company's secrets by using spies  จารกรรม
illegal – against the law ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย
pardon – an official decision to forgive someone for  committing a crime and to free them from punishment  การอภัยโทษ การนิรโทษกรรม
gesture – something that you do or say to show a particular feeling or intention ท่าที
goodwill – friendly or helpful feelings towards other people or countries ความเป็นมิตร, ความหวังดี, มิตรไมตรี
signal –a sign that something exists or is likely to happen สัญญาณ
mixed signals – differing signs or indications about what is likely to happen, making the situation unclear
high-ranking – senior; important ที่อยู่ชั้นสูง
deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
prospects – the possibility that things will happen, especially something good ความเป็นไปได้
deny – to say that something is not true or does not exist ปฏิเสธ
in the works – being prepared or worked on
reconfirm – to say or check again that something is definitely correct or as previously arranged  ยืนยันใหม่
process – to deal with a case officially so that something can happen  ทำให้ผ่านกระบวนการ,ปฏิบัติการ,จัดการ
in accordance with – following a rule or system สอดคล้องกับ
serve a prison term – to spend time in prison as a punishment มารับโทษจำคุก
consider – to give careful thought to something before making a decision พิจารณา
statement – something that you say or write that gives information or an opinion แถลงการณ์, คำแถลง
significant – important สำคัญ
bilateral – involving two groups or countries สองข้าง, เกี่ยวกับกลุ่มทางการเมืองสองกลุ่ม
matter – a situation or subject which is being dealt with or considered เรื่อง, ภารกิจ, งาน
normalisation (of relations) – returning to a normal, friendly relationship, for example after a disagreement or war   การทำให้อยู่ในรูปปกติ, การทำให้อยู่ในระดับธรรมดา
relations – the way in which two people, groups or countries behave towards each other or deal with each other ความสัมพันธ์
sour (relations) – to cause a relationship to have problems; to worsen relations
violent – involving the use of physical force, with the intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people รุนแรง
border – the official line separating two areas, regions or countries  เขตแดน อาณาเขต
dispute – a serious disagreement  ข้อโต้แย้ง
insist – to keep saying very firmly that something is true ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
details – small facts or pieces of information relating to a situation รายละเอียด

Related search: Yingluck Shinawatra, Cambodia, Veera Somkwamkid

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