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Inexperienced foreign minister
- Published: 11/08/2011 at 10:57 AM
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Of all the new cabinet ministers, the choice of Surapong Towijakchaikul as the new foreign minister is receiving the most criticism. Is this fair?
Finance Minister Thirachai Phuvanatnaranubala, left, talks to Foreign Minister Surapong Towijakchaikul during a group photo session at Government House yesterday. PATTANAPONG HIRUNARD
Inexperienced foreign minister
Of all the new cabinet ministers, the choice of Surapong Towijakchaikul as the new foreign minister is receiving the most criticism.
He has little experience in international affairs and, to his critics, his main qualification is that he is friendly with former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Like Mr Thaksin, he is a native of Chiang Mai and his aunt is married to Thaksin's uncle.
Critics say Mr Surapong's main job as foreign minister will be to make it easier for Mr Thaksin to travel around the world.
They are watching to see if he will reissue Thaksin with a diplomatic passport which was revoked by the Democrat-led government.
Actually, Mr Surapong, an engineer by training, has spent time abroad.
He has a master's degree in engineering from Youngstown State University in Ohio and and a Ph.D from the University of Akron in Ohio in the same field.
He also has 15 years experience in politics. Interestingly, most of it was spent as a member of the Democrat party.
Mr Surapong admitted yesterday he was new to the job but said he would perform his duties to the best of his ability.
He said he was ready to listen to criticism and advice, especially from ministry officials, and learn from them.
Despite his lack of experience, Mr Surapong does have a chance for some early diplomatic success.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is clearly delighted with the change of government in Thailand, making it easier for the new foreign minister to negotiate the release of two Thai nationals, Veera Somkwamkid and Ratree Pipattanapaibul, who have been detained in prison there since late 2010 on espionage charges.
Adapted from a story in today's Bangkok Post by Thanida Tansubhapol
inexperienced – not having much experience doing something ไม่มีประสบการณ์ (มือใหม่)
cabinet – the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy คณะรัฐมนตรี
criticism – comments that show that you think something is wrong or bad การวิจารณ์
qualification – ability, quality, degree, etc. that you need for a particular job or activity คุณสมบัติ, คุณวุฒิ
native – someone who was born in a particular place ชาวพื้นเมือง
aunt – the sister of your father or mother; the wife of your uncle ป้า,น้าผู้หญิง,อาผู้หญิง
uncle – the brother of your mother or father; the husband of your aunt ลุง, อาผู้ชาย, น้าผู้ชาย
critics – people who don’t like something and who state their opinion about it นักวิจารณ์
reissue – to officially give out again
diplomatic – relating to relations between countries เกี่ยวกับการทูต
revoke – to officially say that something is no longer legal เพิกถอน
abroad – in or to a foreign country ในต่างประเทศ
master's degree – a further university degree that you study for after a first degree ระดับปริญญาโท
Ph.D – the highest degree or qualification from a university ปริญญาเอก
admit – to agree that something is true, especially when you are unhappy, sorry or surprised about it ยอมรับ
duty – something that you have to do because it is part of your job, or something that you feel is the right thing to do หน้าที่, ความรับผิดชอบ
perform duties – to do what your job requires ปฏิบัติหน้าที่
advice – an opinion or a suggestion about what somebody should do in a particular situation คำแนะนำ
delighted – very happy or satisfied about something ยินดีมาก,สุขใจ
negotiate – to try to reach an agreement by discussing something in a formal way เจรจาต่อรอง
release – allowing someone to go free การปล่อยตัว
detained – kept in a place and not allowed to leave กักตัว ควบคุมตัวหรือฝากขัง
espionage – the activity of secretly getting important political or military information about another country or of finding out another company's secrets by using spies จารกรรม
charge – an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime ข้อหา
Related search: Surapong Towijakchaikul
About the author
- Writer: Terry Fredrickson
Position: Education Marketing and Support Manager