Govt to defend PM overseas trips

The government will refute criticism of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's frequent trips abroad by distributing documents detailing each mission and its accomplishments, the premier's senior aide said Thursday.

  • Published: 19/09/2013 at 09:58 PM
  • Newspaper section: breakingnews

Last week, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was in Europe, where she visited Vatican City for an audience with Pope Francis. (Reuters photo)

Suranand Vejjajiva, PM's Office secretary-general, said, "The government is preparing the documents .... and expects to distribute them to the public by this month’s end or early next month."

Mr Suranand said the premier's trips abroad were important and had brought benefits to the nation. It was not fair to consider only the cost while ignoring direct advantages, he said.

Official visits to other countries by all heads of government, as far back as Privy Council president and statesman Prem Tinsulanonda when he was prime minister in the 1980s, required the use of funds from the budget. 

Ms Yingluck also included Thai businessmen and investors when she travelled, creating excellent trading and investment opportunities, Mr Suranand said.

He claimed the trips also helped restore credibility and confidence harmed by the Sept 19, 2006, military coup. 

The coup caused some countries to view Thailand as an undemocratic country, and to question close ties. The value of the relationships retrieved was “considerable”, he claimed

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