Somkid steps aside

Somkid steps aside

Pol Lt-Gen Somkid Boonthanom chooses not to accept the position of assistant national police chief in an effort to improve relations with Saudi Arabia.

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Somkid opts not to take new posting

PM praises decision, looks to firm Saudi ties


Pol Lt-Gen Somkid Boonthanom

The government is hoping ties with Saudi Arabia will improve after Pol Lt Gen Somkid Boonthanom turned down promotion to assistant national police chief.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said Pol Lt Gen Somkid’s decision yesterday would make it easier for Thailand to handle Thai-Saudi tensions.

‘‘I have to give him credit for that. The government didn’t pressure him [to give up the post],’’ he said.

The embattled chief of Police Region 5 Bureau called a news conference yesterday in Chiang Mai to announce he would not take up the position.

The decision came after a delay in issuing visas for about 300 Thai Muslims who were planning to make a pilgrimage to Mecca next month.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva insisted Thailand had not buckled under to Saudi pressure.

Saudi charge d’affaires Nabil Hussein Ashri has been strongly opposed to Pol Lt Gen Somkid’s appointment on the grounds he is facing charges in connection with the unsolved case of Saudi businessman Mohammed alRuwaili, who disappeared in Bangkok 20 years ago.

‘‘We act under our laws. And in Pol Lt Gen Somkid’s case, I always insist that the Police Commission stands by the regulations,’’ the prime minister said.

‘‘But if the person makes an announcement [not to accept the post] it is another matter. Everything proceeds under our system.’’

He said he believed Pol Lt Gen Somkid was ‘‘under tremendous pressure’’ and must have assessed the consequences of accepting the post.

The Saudi envoy could not be reached for comment on Pol Lt Gen Somkid’s decision.

Pol Lt Gen Somkid, who announced the decision not to take up the post at his office, insisted he was under no pressure. He said he was concerned about some 13,000 Thai Muslim people whose planned trips to Mecca could be affected by the controversy.

He said the decision would prevent any people with ill-intentions from exploiting the matter and causing damage to ties between the two nations.

He also urged the Saudi envoy to have patience as the trial against him was proceeding.

‘‘I can’t say where I will end up. But I can say that in the next two years [before mandatory retirement] I will do my best to serve the public,’’ he said.

Pol Lt Gen Jet Mongkolhatthi, chief of the Office of Legal Affairs, is tipped to become assistant national police chief in his place.

The commission chaired by Mr Suthep will meet tomorrow to consider the appointment of a new assistant police chief.

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opt – to make a choice or a decision from a range of possibilities  เลือก
posting – a job in a company or organisation ตำแหน่งการงาน
praise – to express strong approval or admiration for someone or something, especially in public ชมเชย, สรรเสริญ, ยกย่อง
firm – to strengthen ทำให้แข็งแรง
ties – relations; connections ความสัมพันธ์
improve – to make better  ทำให้ดีขึ้น
turn down – to reject; to not agree with a request, offer or proposal ปฏิเสธ ไม่ยอมรับ
promotion – moving to a job at a higher level การเลื่อนตำแหน่ง
handle – to take action in order to deal with a difficult situation จัดการ, ดูแล
tensions – the feelings caused by a lack of trust between people, groups or countries who do not agree about something and may attack each other ความตึงเครียด
pressure – a worried feeling that you get when you have to deal with a difficult or complicated situation ความกดดัน
embattled – experiencing a lot of problems ที่ถูกโจมตี
delay – when you have to wait longer than expected for something to happen, or the time that you have to wait ความชักช้า, ความยืดยาด
issue – to give or provide something officially ออก, แจกจ่าย
pilgrimage – a journey that a person makes to a holy place เดินทางแสวงบุญ
buckle (under) – to stop trying to do something, or to stop opposing someone, because you have no energy or determination left ยอม
charge d’affaires – an official who represents the government of their own country in a foreign country when there is no ambassador there เจ้าหน้าที่การทูต (กระทรวงต่างประเทศ)
appointment – when someone is officially chosen for a job การแต่งตั้ง
grounds – reasons for saying or doing something เหตุผล
charge – an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime ข้อหา
disappear – to move something or someone somewhere where they can no longer be seen หายไป, สาบสูญ, สูญหาย
insist – to keep saying very firmly that something is true ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
regulation – an official rule that controls the way that things are done กฎระเบียบ
proceed – to continue as planned ดำเนินการ
tremendous - very great in amount or level ใหญ่โตมาก
assess – to carefully consider a situation, person, or problem in order to make a judgment ประเมิณสถานการณ์
consequences – results of effects of something ผลที่ตามมา
envoy – someone who is sent as a representative from one government or organization to another ทูต
concerned – worried about something   มีความกังวล
controversy – a strong disagreement, especially about a public policy or moral issue ความขัดแย้ง  ประเด็นข้อขัดแย้ง
ill-intentions – plans to do something bad or harmful ซึ่งเจตนาร้าย 
exploit – to use unfairly for your own benefit เอาเปรียบ, หาประโยชน์ใส่ตัว
matter – a situation or subject which is being dealt with or considered เรื่อง, ภารกิจ, งาน
urge – to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น
patience – the ability to wait for a long time without becoming angry or upset  ความอดทน
trial – the process of examining a case in a court of law and deciding whether someone has or has not committed a crime  การพิจารณาคดี
mandatory – ordered by a law or rule ข้อบังคับ,จำเป็น
retirement – the time when you stop working, especially because of old age เกษียณอายุ
the public – people in general ประชาชน, สาธารณชน, มหาชน
tip – to say who you think will get a particular job

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