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Bedlam hits House after hotel query

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Phue Thai MPs were not amused when the Democrats wanted the PM to explain where she was during last week's meeting of parliament. The Democrats were angered when they were told it was none of their business. 

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A policeman waits patiently to carry out the House Speaker's orders to remove Democrat MP for Samut Songkhram Rangsima Rodrasamee from the House chamber. CHANAT KATANYU


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Bedlam hits House after hotel query

Aekarach Sattaburuth

The parliament chamber was thrown into chaos yesterday when the opposition demanded an explanation from Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra as to why she had failed to attend last Wednesday's House meeting.

House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont told the meeting a question filed by Democrat MP for Samut Songkhram Rangsima Rodrasamee for Ms Yingluck did not meet the House's criteria because it concerned a personal matter.

The prime minister was also away yesterday on an upcountry tour inspecting flood prevention work, Mr Somsak said.

Ms Rangsima argued that her purpose for filing the interpellation was to ask about the "function" which the prime minister supposedly attended at the Four Seasons Hotel when she should have been present for a House meeting.

Ms Yingluck visited the hotel on Ratchadamri Road for about two hours, leaving around 4pm.

Ekkayuth Anchanbutr, a real estate businessman, has claimed he was assaulted by a person with a possible connection to former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, Ms Yingluck's elder brother, at the Four Seasons shortly after Ms Yingluck left the hotel.

Ms Yingluck has insisted she did nothing irregular during the hotel visit, but declined to go into detail.

Opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said since the interpellation was directed at the prime minister and it was about her function, she should answer it.

Deputy House Speaker Wisut Chainaroon objected, saying the question really concerned a personal matter and so was prohibited from debate under House regulations.

The deputy speaker gave Ms Rangsima an ultimatum to allow the PM's representative to answer the interpellation. Otherwise, it could be dismissed.

Arguments instantly erupted between government and opposition MPs.

Mr Somsak asked Ms Rangsima to leave the chamber. She refused.

The House Speaker instructed police officers to escort her out, which only intensfied the scrapping between MPs and spurred a walkout by the opposition.

Mr Somsak ordered a break at 12.50pm and about an hour later declared the meeting closed, saying the MPs had spent enough time discussing matters.

bedlam – a scene full of noise and confusion เสียงวุ่นวาย,เสียงสับสน
query – a question คำถาม
chaos – a situation in which everything is confused and in a mess ความยุ่งเหยิง, ความสับสน
the opposition – the political party or parties that are not part of the government ฝ่ายค้าน
Speaker of the House – the person who is in charge of most of the activities of the House of Representatives ประธานสภาผู้แทนราษฎร
file – to take official action (like making a complaint)  ยื่น(คำร้อง)
criteria – a standard that is used for judging something or for making a decision about something  บรรทัดฐาน
concern – to be about  เกี่ยวกับ
personal matter – something private that should not concern people in general  เรื่องส่วนตัว
upcountry – areas outside of the Bangkok area; connected with an area of a country that is not near large towns ต่างจังหวัด, ที่อยู่ในชนบท, ที่อยู่ห่างไกลจากเมือง
inspect – to look at something carefully ตรวจสอบ
argue – to give reasons why you think that something is right/wrong, true/not true, etc, especially to persuade people that you are right ห้เหตุผล, อ้างเหตุผล
interpellation – (in parliament) a demand that a government official explain some act or policy
function – social occasion งานสังคม
supposedly – believed to be; thought to be  เป็นที่เชื่อว่า
real estate – property อสังหาริมทรัพย์
claim – to say that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it อ้าง
assaulted – attacked by someone violently  ถูกทำร้ายร่างกาย
connection – a relationship between people or groups ความสัมพันธ์
elder – older ที่อายุมากกว่า
insist – to keep saying very firmly that something is true ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
irregular – of a situation in which the rules, laws, or usual ways of doing things have not been followed ไม่เป็นไปตามระเบียบปกติ
decline – to say politely that you will not accept something or do something  ปฏิเสธที่จะทำ
go into detail – to elaborate; to add more information to or explain something that you have said อธิบายเพิ่มเติม
object – to disagree with คัดค้าน
prohibit – to not allow ห้าม
debate – a discussion in which people or groups state different opinions about a subject การอภิปราย, การโต้วาที, การถกเถียง
regulation – an official rule that controls the way that things are done กฎระเบียบ
deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
ultimatum – a statement that orders someone to do something and threatens to punish or attack them if they do not คำขาด
dismiss – to decide that a discussion or consideration should not continue  เลิก
argument – a conversation or discussion in which two or more people disagree, often angrily การโต้แย้ง, การแย้ง, การโต้เถียง
instantly – immediately ทันที
erupt – to start suddenlyปะทุขึ้น
refuse – to say you will not do something that someone has asked you to do ปฏิเสธ
instruct – to tell somebody to do something, especially in a formal or official way สั่ง
escort – to go with someone คุ้ม
intensify – to strengthen เข้มข้นขึ้น
scrap – to have a small fight or argument ดิ้นรน, ต่อสู้
spur – to cause something to happen ก่อให้เกิด

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