Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra travelled to the volatile deep South once again at the weekend.
She was accompanied by several ministers, senior officials and military officers. She was not, however, accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung.
Ms Yingluck had ordered him again to visit the South to investigate security problems, and again he had more pressing problems in Bangkok.
Ms Yingluck visited wounded soldiers and civilians, hospitalised victims of recent, increased violence in Yala province, as well as in Narathiwat and Pattani.
She attended funeral rites for two senior state officials killed last week by violent gangs.
Her visit put her in peril. Hours after she left Yala, the militants launched another bombing wave.
Mr Chalerm has rapidly gained a reputation in regards to southern matters _ as the man who isn't there. Ms Yingluck has visited several times, Mr Chalerm not at all. He has insisted on grabbing a vague title of minister in charge of southern security. His insistence that he can manage that position from Bangkok has broken down.
Just a day after she ordered Mr Chalerm to go and he ignored the order, the prime minister went herself. Everyone knows Mr Chalerm has never been to the deep South. He has said as much; some would say he has bragged about it. Of course, plenty of people have never been to the spectacularly lovely four provinces at the southern border.
The problem is that it is Mr Chalerm's job location, and he has not been to the South since he was given the job. He has not been to the far South since he assumed responsibility for overseeing security in the region.
Mr Chalerm has a title that makes it appear as if he is deeply involved in the dangerous job of battling violent extremists. But he is not actually involved at all. No other important person has ignored the South that completely _ certainly not his boss, the prime minister.
The indisputable fact is that the country's top security threat needs a steady hand. Mr Chalerm has been called many names in his career, but a "steady hand" is not one of them. Mr Chalerm is exaggerating his own role by taking the security job while misleading the public into thinking he is actively involved. He seems to have an authority which in fact he does not possess.
The talks with the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) are in the hands of the chief of the National Security Council, Lt Gen Paradorn Pattanatabut.
It is vital the BRN knows he has the authority and backing of the prime minister and government.
Now, especially after Ms Yingluck has so clearly exposed how Mr Chalerm avoids the South, she should more carefully consider Mr Chalerm's role and position.
It is unlikely Mr Chalerm will do the right thing. He seldom has. Thus, it is up to Prime Minister Yingluck to do the right thing for her government and the country.
Her Sunday trip to the deep South and her meetings with the wounded, their families and common citizens, made it clear who has sympathy and puts the interests of the country ahead of personal safety. It also made it clearer than ever who does not. It is up to the prime minister to address that problem.