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Channel 7’s Somjit Nawakruasunthorn, second left, is not someone who backs away from a quarrel, even when it involves a government heavyweight like Chalerm Yubamrung, a man who seems to enjoy a good verbal fight himself.
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"Sue me." "No, you sue me." Channel 7’s Somjit Nawakruasunthorn, second left, and Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung shown during their recent war of words.
Chalerm vs Somjit
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung and local reporters are well known to each other. Mr Chalerm even calls them by their first names.
They hold informal "chats" almost every day, many of which end up in video clips shown on local TV channels.
A recent clip not only made good TV viewing, it has been viewed on youtube more than 100,000 times.
Not surprisingly, the reporter involved was Channel 7's Somjit Nawakruasunthorn who is known for her persistent and tough questioning.
She has been widely condemned by red-shirt supporters of Yingluck Shinawatra for what they feel is a lack of respect in the way she questions the prime minister.
This time the topic was security preparations for handling the next Pitak Siam rally on Nov 24-25 at the Royal Plaza.
A smiling Mr Chalerm accused Ms Somjit of being poorly informed, saying a political party that was behind the rally was the main threat.
Which party, she asked?
"The one that loses elections," he answered, clearly referring to the opposition Democrats.
When she persisted in her questions, challenging him to provide evidence, he accused her of being a Democrat supporter, causing her to misunderstand the situation and the government's progress in dealing with it.
The reporter said she could sue him for the remark. Mr Chalerm said he had done nothing wrong.
‘‘I’m just saying that you sympathise with that party. There is nothing wrong with that,’’ Mr Chalerm said. ‘‘Sue me if you want,’’ he added.
Ms Somjit retorted: ‘‘If your calling me sympathetic to that party is not defamatory, would calling you servile to [ousted premier] Thaksin Shinawatra amount to defamation?’’
Mr Chalerm said: ‘‘That’s definitely defamation.’’
The reporter then challenged Mr Chalerm to file a police complaint against her.
Adapted from a story in today’s Bangkok Post
quarrel – an argument or strong disagreement การทะเลาะเบาะแว้ง
verbal – using words ทางคำพูด
deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
local – in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about ท้องถิ่น
reporter – someone whose job is to write articles or make broadcasts about events in the news ผู้สื่อข่าว, นักข่าว
informal – relaxed and friendly กันเอง, ไม่เป็นทางการ, ไม่เคร่งครัด
recent – happening or starting a short time ago เร็วๆ นี้
involved – taking part or having a role in something เกี่ยวข้อง
persistent – continuing อย่างต่อเนื่อง
tough – difficult to deal with ยาก ยากลำบาก
condemn – to criticise something or someone strongly ประนาม
lack – to not have something needed ขาด
respect – a feeling of admiration that you have for someone because of their personal qualities, their achievements, or their status, and that you show by treating them in a polite and kind way ความเคารพ, ความนับถือ
topic – a subject that you talk, write or learn about เรื่อง, หัวข้อ
security – protection; systems providing for safety from attack, harm, or damage ระบบรักษาความปลอดภัย
rally – a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something การชุมนุม
accuse – to say that someone has done something wrong กล่าวหา
informed – having the correct information about something; having or showing a lot of knowledge about a particular subject or situation มีข้อมูลที่ถูกต้อง; ซึ่งรอบรู้
threat – a danger อันตราย
opposition – of a political party that is not part of the government ฝ่ายค้าน
persist – to continue to do or say something in a determined way ยืนกราน
challenge – to invite someone to do something difficult or risky, such as to compete or fight ท้า
evidence – facts, signs or objects that make you believe that something is true หลักฐาน,ข้อแสดง
progress – the process of improving or developing, or of getting nearer to achieving or completing something ความก้าวหน้า
deal with – to take action to solve a problem จัดการปัญหา
sue – to take legal action against a person or organisation, especially by making a legal claim for money because of some harm that they have caused you ฟ้องร้อง
remark – something said คำพูด
sympathise with – to approve of and support someone or something เห็นอกเห็นใจ
retort – to reply immediately in an angry or humorous way to something that someone has said โต้ตอบ, สวนตอบ
defamation (adjective form: defamatory) – the offence of writing or saying something bad about someone that is not true and makes people have a bad opinion of them การใส่ร้าย
servile – wanting too much to please somebody and obey them ซึ่งยอมรับใช้, เหมือนทาส
ousted – forced out of a position of power ขับออกจากอำนาจ
file a complaint –to make an official statement that someone has done something wrong ยื่นคำร้อง