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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs           11   August  2011

King urges new government to work for peace

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The King of Thailand has urged Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her government to ensure peace in the country as much of the world is engulfed in turmoil.

His Majesty wanted the cabinet members to set an example and keep their word that they would work honestly in the national interest.

Ms. Yingluck yesterday led her cabinet ministers to take the oath of allegiance before His Majesty the King at Siriraj Hospital.

The King told them to keep their promises to work for the good of the nation and the public.

"The country needs a leader to run the country so the nation will move ahead," said the King. "May all of you work in accord with the oaths you have given. If you do, it will result in national prosperity and your happiness."

The King reiterated the importance of honesty to ensure the country's peace, prosperity and people's well-being.

Many countries around the world are dealing with various troubles, which Thailand has largely avoided this year, so the government should strive to keep the peace, he said.

In another development, Ms. Yingluck yesterday appealed to the public to give her ministers time to prove their worth.

All ministers will be given at least six months to work before their performance is evaluated, she said.

She defended the selection of Pheu Thai deputy leader Surapong Towijakchaikul as foreign minister, saying he was well-versed in political affairs after serving as an MP for two terms and sitting on various House committees.

Due to his lack of foreign affairs experience and close ties to ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the appointment of Mr Surapong has drawn heavy criticism.

After being sworn in before the King, Ms Yingluck has 15 days to deliver the government's policy statement before parliament.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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