Chalerm's no-show in deep South perplexing
- Published: 9/04/2013 at 11:14 AM
- Online news:
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung's procrastination about visiting the far South, his lame excuses, paint him in a bad light - especially in light of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's visit on Sunday following the slaying of the Yala deputy governor last week.
Truth is, I could not agree more with Chuvit Kamonvisit. The outspoken MP and leader of Rak Prathet Thai (Love Thailand) party recently posted a message on his Facebook page criticising Mr Chalerm, deputy prime minister in charge of security affairs, for repeatedly making excuses to postpone his first visit to the violence-prone far South. He has never been there.
"I do not understand why Pol Cpt Chalerm Yubamrung has persistently refused to go to the three southernmost provinces and has put off a visit so many times with so many excuses.
"And now, again. When the deputy governor of Yala was killed by a road bomb, the prime minister again reminded Khun Chalerm to visit the region. Like every time before, Khun Chalerm pretended not to hear, took no heed and boasted on about other issues.
"I do not expect that a visit by Khun Chalerm would help resolve the problems but, at the least, Khun Chalerm should show some spirit and accept the fact that he was given the assignment to resolve the southern unrest problem."
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung (Photo by Thiti Wannamontha)
Unlike Mr Chalerm, Prime Minister Yingluck showed no reluctance in leading a small group of officials to Yala province on Sunday following the bombing that killed Yala deputy governor Isara Thongthawat and his assistant Chavalit Chairuek.
Unsurprisingly, Mr Chalerm was not among the delegation, which did include Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan and his two deputies, Public Health Minister Pradit Sinthavoranarong, national police chief Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaeo, National Security Council chief Lt-Gen Paradorn Pattanatabut, army chief-of-staff Gen Udomdej Seetabut and Suranan Vejjajiva, the prime minister’s secretary-general.
We can only guess why Mr Chalerm was not part of the delegation, but it was assumed that the deputy prime minister would travel to the South after he was ordered more than once to go there by the prime minister.
The prime minister and her team arrived in Hat Yai by plane and then flew to Yala in an army helicopter. They went to Yala provincial hospital to visit wounded officials, including Isara’s driver Satopa Jehloh, who was seriously hurt in the attack and still in a coma during the visit.
Later, the prime minister flew to Nakhon Si Thammarat to attend the funeral of the slain deputy governor at Wat Phra Mahathat in Muang district, and Chavalit’s funeral at Wat Rangseeburanaram in Chawang district, and to give moral support to the families of the two victims.
The latest report is that Mr Chalerm plans to visit the three southernmost provinces after the Songkran festival. Maybe. Or will he come up with a new excuse to again defer the trip?
Whether the deputy prime minister actually, finally, makes a physical appearance in the far South or not, I believe most people in that restive region, both Muslims and non-Muslims, could not care less. His presence there would not help improve the situation anyway.
But seeing as he was given the job of overseeing security affairs down there by the prime minister, he must do his job and perform his duty to the best of his ability. One of the requisites that come with the job is to visit the region, if for no other reason than to show support for the men and women working down there and the civilian population.
No one expects him to come up with any miracle solution to put an end to or ease the violence.
And if he persists in refusing to make the trip South he should take a good look in the mirror, and then quit the job.
About the author
- Writer: Veera Prateepchaikul
Position: Former Editor