Former prime minister Thaksin uses the web application Skype to chair a video meeting with Phue Thai ministers, leading to speculation that he, not his sister, is the real government leader.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra meets high-ranking security officials at Government house yesterday. CHANAT KATANYU
As you read, notice that the information in the story appears to come from a single source within the Phue Thai party. Do you think other Phue Thai members will be happy when they find out about it? Watch to see if anyone talks about the meeting today and if they confirm anything that the source said.
Thaksin shows who's the boss
Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra confirmed the belief that he is the real boss in charge of the new government when he lectured cabinet ministers on how to run the country via Skype.
Cabinet members from the Pheu Thai Party on Wednesday were called to a meeting at the Pheu Thai Party's head office for a Skype date with Thaksin, who remains a fugitive overseas.
A Pheu Thai source said Thaksin had found that messages he had tried to convey to the ministers through Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, his younger sister, were not getting across.
Therefore, he had to call "a cabinet meeting" via Skype to make sure he could communicate more directly and more effectively with the ministers.
Given that she is a political novice, Ms Yingluck might not be brave enough to prod her ministers into action, particularly those who are seasoned politicians, the source said.
The communication failure could hurt the government's performance so Thaksin decided to step in and point out and correct mistakes in the way the government runs the country, the source said, adding that such meetings attended by Pheu Thai ministers and chaired by Thaksin will be held every Monday.
The source said Thaksin was concerned that the Pheu Thai-led government is plagued by many problems and its popularity could be at risk.
It appears that Pheu Thai's failure to honour many of its election campaign pledges has started to backfire.
The source said the ministers squirmed uncomfortably in their chairs as Thaksin acted like a teacher "lecturing" some of them who failed to measure up at the tension-filled meeting which lasted for more than two hours.
Thaksin focussed particularly on Defence Minister Yutthasak Sasiprapa as he was in the midst of a case alleging that more than 200,000 bullets had been used during the dispersal of red-shirt protesters last year.
Thaksin told the defence minister not to sign any documents confirming the use of the ammunition as an investigation was ongoing.
Thaksin also stressed the need for Labour Minister Padermchai Sasomsap to try as hard as he can to push for the 300 baht minimum daily wage and the starting 15,000 baht salary for university graduates.
He pressed the minister for the details on policies and wanted to know when they will be implemented.
The former prime minister was also unhappy that the government's rice mortgage scheme had yet to meet the target, the source said.
Thaksin then explained at great length to Deputy Commerce Minister Poom Sarapol, who has little experience on the matter, on how the minister should approach the policy.
However, some Pheu Thai MPs, particularly those who are now pursuing reconciliation efforts, were dismayed by Thaksin's Skype video call, the source said.
They felt that Thaksin's move was unnecessary because it could sow further distrust among military brass, which could have adverse repercussions on the Pheu Thai government, the source said.
Prime Minister Yingluck yesterday rejected outright suggestions that her elder brother was attempting to meddle in or dominate the government's work.
She insisted that it was not a cabinet meeting and Thaksin had contacted the ministers via Skype only to provide moral support for the government's work.
source – someone who gives information แหล่งข่าว
in charge of – to be in control of an activity and to check that everything is being done correctly ดูแล ควบคุม
lecture – to criticise somebody or tell them how you think they should behave, especially when it is done in an annoying way; to give a talk or a series of talks to a group of people on a subject, especially as a way of teaching in a university or college สั่งสอน, ตักเตือน, บรรยาย
cabinet minister – a member of the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy รัฐมนตรี
via – through ผ่าน
Skype – a well-known internet telephone service
fugitive – someone who has been accused of doing something illegal and is trying to avoid being caught by the police ผู้หลบหนี
overseas – involving a different country or countries ต่างประเทศ, ข้ามทะเล
convey – to communicate something; to express a thought, feeling or idea so that it is understood by other people สื่อไปถึง, สื่อสาร
get across – to communicate successully to someone เป็นที่เข้าใจ
novice – of someone with little experience doing something มือใหม่
prod – to push someone/something quickly แหย่, แยง
seasoned – having a lot of experience of doing something and therefore knowing how to do it well มีประสบการณ์
performance – the standard to which someone does something การกระทำ, การแสดง, การทำให้บรรลุผลสำเร็จ
chair – to be the person in charge of a meeting, committee, or company ดำรงตำแหน่งประธาน, ทำหน้าที่ในฐานะประธาน
concerned – worried about something มีความกังวล
plague – to cause a lot of problems for someone or something for a long period of time ทำให้ยุ่งยากมานาน
popularity – a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people ความเป็นที่นิยม, ความเป็นที่ชื่นชอบ
at risk – in danger ตกอยู่ในความเสี่ยง
honour – to do what you promised to do ทำตามสัญญา
campaign – a planned series of activities designed to persuade voters to vote for a particular candidate or political party การรณรงค์หาสียง
pledge – a serious promise สัญญา
backfire – to have the opposite effect or result than the one you intended ส่งผลตรงข้ามกับที่หวังไว้
squirm – to move around a lot making small twisting movements, because you are nervous, uncomfortable, etc. บิดตัวไปมา, กระดิกตัวไปมา, กลิ้งเกลือกไปมา
measure up – to be as good, successful, etc. as expected or needed พิสูจน์ความสามารถ
tension – the feeling of being so nervous or worried that you can’t relax ความตึงเครียด
in the midst of – in the middle of ท่ามกลาง
allege – to say that something is true or that someone has done something wrong, even though this has not been proved กล่าวหา
bullet – a small, metal object that is shot from a gun กระสุนปืน
dispersal – (of a crowd of people) the process of causing to separate and leave in different directions การสลายฝูงชน
document – a piece of paper or a set of papers containing official information เอกสาร
ammunition – bullets, bombs, etc that can be fired from a weapon อาวุธยุทธภัณฑ์, ลูกกระสุน
investigation – the process of trying to find out all the details or facts about something in order to discover who or what caused it or how it happened การตรวจสอบหาข้อเท็จจริง
ongoing – continuing อย่างต่อเนื่อง
stress – to emphasise something such as an idea, fact or detail; to explain why something is important เน้น
minimum – as small in amount or degree as necessary or possible จำนวนน้อยที่สุด, ปริมาณต่ำที่สุด
wage – an amount of money that you earn for working, usually according to how many hours or days you work each week or month ค่าจ้าง
salary – a fixed amount of money that you earn each month or year from your job เงินเดือน
press – to try in a determined way to make someone do something ผลักดัน, บังคับ, รบเร้า, กระตุ้น
details – small facts or pieces of information relating to a situation รายละเอียด
policy – a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group นโยบาย
implement – to make something such as an idea, plan, system or law start to work and be used นำแผนหรือนโยบายมาปฏิบัติ, นำมาใช้
scheme – a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people แผนการ โครงการ
target – a particular number or amount that you want to achieve เป้าหมาย
approach – a particular way of doing something or thinking about something วิธีการทำให้ถึงจุดหมาย
pursue – to try to achieve something ดำเนินตาม, พยายามเพื่อให้ได้มาซึ่ง
reconciliation – a new and friendly relationship with someone who you argued with or fought with การทำให้ปรองดองกันอีก, การสมานฉันท์
dismayed – very unhappy and disappointed ท้อใจ, ผิดหวัง
sow – to cause a bad emotion or condition to begin somewhere, which will grow or continue ทำให้แพร่หลาย
distrust – a feeling that you cannot trust someone or something ไม่ไว้วางใจ ไม่เชื่อใจ
(top) brass – the people with the highest positions of authority, especially in the armed forces บุคคลสำคัญ
adverse – having a negative or harmful effect on something ในทางลบ, เป็นผลร้าย
repercussion – a bad effect that something has, usually lasting for a long time
reject – to not agree with ปฏิเสธ ไม่ยอมรับ
outright – clear and direct, with nothing hidden โดยสมบูรณ์, โดยทั้งหมด, ตรงไปตรงมา
meddle – to become involved in a situation that you have no right to be involved in ก้าวก่าย แทรกแซง
dominate – to be in control มีอำนาจเหนือ ครอบคลุม ควบคุม
insist – to keep saying very firmly that something is true, even when other people will not believe you ยืนกราน
moral support – giving someone encouragement ให้กำลังใจ