Yingluck upset by military scrutiny during NE trip

Yingluck upset by military scrutiny during NE trip

Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra is flanked by supporters during her visit to Nong Khai province on Tuesday. (Photo from Yingluck Shinawatra Facebook page)
Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra is flanked by supporters during her visit to Nong Khai province on Tuesday. (Photo from Yingluck Shinawatra Facebook page)

Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra is unhappy at being so closely watched by the military during her recent trip to make merit in Nong Khai province.

Ms Yingluck expressed her dissatisfaction after being photographed by soldiers while on her way to a toilet at a restaurant in Muang district of the northeastern province.

“I had no thought of running away, and just wanted to go to the toilet. Had I planned to flee I would not have done it that way,’’ the former prime minister complained to her close aides during her visit on Tuesday.

She and former prime minister Somchai Wongsawat had intended to perform thot pha pa (robe-offering) religious ceremonies at Wat Pa Pukon and Wat Pa Nakham Noi forest temples on Tuesday, but had to cancel the visits after being barred by the military.  

Ms Yingluck then visited Nong Khai township instead, but she complained soldiers kept monitoring her every step. She and her delegation then returned to Bangkok.

Earlier this month, Ms Yingluck appealed to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha for fair treatment and to be allowed the right to defend herself in court over her government's scandal plagued rice-pledging scheme.

She faces an administrative order demanding she pay compensation to the state for the huge financial losses resulting from mismanagement of the scheme.

Unofficial reports say the government is demanding Ms Yingluck pay 200 billion baht of the total loss of 536 billion baht incurred by the rice pledging scheme during her administration.

The accumulated loss from similar schemes by previous governments devised to shore up rice prices to help rice farmers since 2004 is about 163 billion baht, according to the Finance Ministry. The figure was calculated by the ministry's accounting panel tasked with determining the damages caused to the state's coffers from all rice support schemes since 2004.

Ms Yingluck is also facing trial in the Supreme Court for alleged corruption in connection with the rice scheme. The court will begin examining witnesses on Oct 29.



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