Look beyond borders, PM tells children
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has called on children to be outward looking and think beyond borders as the country becomes part of a larger community.
- Published: 12/01/2013 at 07:24 PM
- Newspaper section: topstories
A girl enjoys activities at the CAT Telecom head office on Chaeng Watthana Road. (Photo by Apichit Jinakul)
Children should get to know Thailand's neighbours in Southeast Asia and countries outside the region better, she said in a Children's Day interview with "young spokespersons" at Government House.
Two children were selected to represent children on her weekly TV programme as part of the activities for the large crowd of youngsters visiting with their families.
Ms Yingluck said earlier this week that children should prepare to be part of one community of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). The Asean Economic Community in 2016 will create a single market and many more opportunities for citizens to travel and work throughout the region.
The most popular activity at Government House on Saturday was not discussing the future of Asean, but sitting in the prime minister's chair. Visiting children waited in a long line to take turns for their chance.
A two-year-old boy who was in the queue with his parents for more than an hour became exhausted and fell asleep on the chair during his turn. The sight amused other parents and their children.
But not everything went well at Government House as a mother and her two small boys were injured after a billboard to promote Asean collapsed.
A child cries after his mother was knocked unconscious when a wooden billboard blew over at Government House on Saturday. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
The accident inside the compound knocked a mother unconscious and left one of her sons with a back injury and the other with a head injury. All three were taken to nearby Mission Hospital.
The injured were identified as Chutima Pleanwong, 36, and her two sons, Jessadaporn Khomsing, 10, and Anucha Khomsing, 7.
Witnesses said strong wind caused the accident while the three were having a meal in the area.
Organisers of the event have agreed to compensate the family.
Despite the popularity of Government House, children have little use for politics and Ms Yingluck is not even their favourite politician, according to a poll by the National Institute of Development Administration (Nida).
The survey released on Saturday said 38% of children were not impressed by any politician. Ms Yingluck came second with 26%, followed by opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva at 15%.
The children ranked corruption as the most undesirable behaviour of adults (44%) followed by quarrels and violence (22%) and drugs (16%).
The poll was conducted by interviewing 1,232 children across the country from Jan 9-11.
Phitsanulok governor Preecha Ruangchan, right, gets into the spirit by dressing in a student uniform. (Photo by Chinnawat Singha)
The results were in line with a Bangkok University poll released on Friday which found that politics was not a favourite choice for children.
At an event organised by the Democrat Party, Mr Abhisit reminded children of their importance to the future of the country and said they should grow up to be good citizens.
Activities for children were held throughout the country including the violence-plagued southern border provinces where many children turned out to join programmes in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and part of Songkhla province.
Provincial governors opened their offices for children to sit on their chairs. Pattani governor Pramuk Lamul said he hoped the opportunity would inspire youngsters to consider public service or even being governors when they became adults.
In Phitsanulok, meanwhile, governor Preecha Ruangchan and other officials put smiles on the faces of children visiting the provincial hall by dressing in student uniforms.
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- Writer: Online Reporters