Somsak defends his England trip

House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont said yesterday his controversial trip to England last month with a party of aides and reporters was useful and worth doing again.

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Somsak defends his England trip

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It was useful and worth doing again, House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont said yesterday of his controversial trip to England with a party of aides and reporters last month.

He insisted that he initiated the trip in good faith and believed it benefitted members of the press who joined the excursion.

The visit to the BBC Television Centre in London, for example could lead to the setting up of a future digital TV channel for parliament

As for other activities that had come in for criticism, like watching English Premier League football matches and taking close aides and his daughter on the trip, they were paid for out of his personal budget, Mr Somsak said.

Mr Somsak said the UK trip budget conformed with regulations of the Bureau of Finance and the Budget Bureau and other agencies.

He denied allegations that he and his entourage went on an extravagant and lavish trip, saying he stayed only in three to four-star hotels, which actually did not match his position as speaker.

Not everything went according to plan, however. Originally, the trip was supposed to be an official study tour in cooperation with the British parliament, but it was discovered later that this was not possible.

Mr Somsak said he decided to proceed with the trip because plane tickets had been booked and an itinerary planned.

He also said that 30 media representatives had been invited on the trip, but only 12-13 of them participated. As a result, the seven million baht budget set aside for the tour was probably not all spent.  

Mr Somsak said that he wanted to organise a similar trip next year, but he would discuss details with parliament journalists and would not proceed if they saw it as improper.

Adapted from a story on bangkokpost.com

defend – to say things to support someone or something ปกป้อง
worth – to have a value or benefit, etc มีคุ้มค่า, มีค่า
House Speaker – the person who is in charge of most of the activities of the House of Representatives ประธานสภาผู้แทนราษฎร
controversial – causing disagreement ซึ่งก่อให้เกิดการโต้แย้ง
party – a group of people who are doing something together such as travelling or visiting somewhere คณะ, กลุ่ม
aide – someone whose job is to help another person in their work ผู้ช่วย
reporter – someone whose job is to write articles or make broadcasts about events in the news ผู้สื่อข่าว, นักข่าว
insist – to keep saying very firmly that something is true ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
initiate – to make something start ริเริ่ม
in good faith – believing that what you are doing is right; believing that something is correct อย่างจริงใจ, โดยสุจริต
benefit – to give an advantage to someone มีประโยชน์ต่อ
the press – newspapers and magazines, and those parts of television and radio which broadcast news, or reporters and photographers who work for them สื่อมวลชน
excursion – a short journey made for pleasure, especially one that has been organised for a group of people  การเดินทางในระยะสั้นๆ
parliament – the group of people who are elected to make and change the laws of a country  รัฐสภา
criticism – comments that show that you think something is wrong or bad การวิจารณ์
personal – your own; not belonging to or connected with anyone else  เป็นส่วนตัว
budget – an amount of money able to be spent on something งบประมาณ
conform – to agree with or match something  สอดคล้องกับ
regulation – an official rule that controls the way that things are done ระเบียบข้อบังคับ
bureau – a government organisation สำนักงาน
deny – to say that something is not true ปฏิเสธ
allegation – an accusation; a statement that someone has done something wrong or illegal even though this has not been proved ข้อกล่าวหา
entourage – a group of people who travel with an important person  คณะผู้ติดตามของบุคคลสำคัญ
extravagant – spending a lot more money or using a lot more of something than you can afford or than is necessary ฟุ่มเฟือย
lavish –  more than enough, especially if expensive ฟุ่มเฟือย
match – to equal something เท่ากันกับ
position – a job ตำแหน่ง
originally – the situation that existed at the beginning of a particular period or activity, especially before something was changed อย่างเป็นอันแรก, โดยแรกเริ่ม
official – connected with the job of somebody who is in a position of authority ที่เป็นทางการ
cooperation – a situation in which people or organisations work together to achieve a result that will benefit all of them  การร่วมมือกัน
discover – to find somebody/something, or learning about something that was not known about before ค้นพบ
proceed – to carry out an activity ดำเนินการ
itinerary – a plan of a journey that you are going to make, including information about when and where you will travel แผนการการเดินทาง
media – newspapers, television, radio, etc. สื่อ
representative – someone who has been chosen by a person or group to do something on their behalf ผู้แทน
participate – to take part in or become involved in an activity มีส่วน
details – small facts or pieces of information relating to a situation รายละเอียด
journalist – a person who writes news stories or articles for a newspaper or magazine or broadcasts them on radio or television ผู้สื่อข่าว
improper – not suited or appropriate to the situation ไม่เหมาะสม ไม่สมควร

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