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Parliament president Somsak Kiatsuranont left for Europe yesterday on a nine-day, three country "study” tour. The trip is raising eyebrows for its cost, its participants and the “topics” under study.
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B7m “study” tour for Parliament president and friends
If you are wondering why deputy House Speaker Charoen Chankomol and Senate Speaker Nikom Wairatpanich are running parliament this week, it’s because Parliament president Somsak Kiatsuranont is out of town.
He left for Europe yesterday on a nine-day, three country "study” tour for 39 media staff, columnists and his close aides. The trip is raising eyebrows for its cost, its participants and the “topics” under study.
A source, who declined to be named, said the trip's 7 million baht cost (180,000 baht a head) comes from the 2012 fiscal year budget ending on Sept 30.
According to one member of the group, Thammasat political science lecturer Virot Ali, “the invitation came from parliament at the last minute, and stated that it was an academic study tour to observe water management systems."
Parliament officials and journalists noted, however, that reservations for English Premier League matches in London on Saturday and Sunday, museum visits and visits to the Economist and BBC Broadcasting House made it seem more like a tourist jaunt than a study tour.
Mr Virot, incidentally, was apparently chosen for the tour for his role of "Bangkok Post columnist" despite having no affiliation with the paper.
Mr Virot, an occasional commentator for Voice TV, did not know why he was listed as a Post columnist.
"I certainly do not know how [the organisers] listed me as attending on behalf of the newspaper, and will ask them to make a correction."
An invitation to attend the three-country trip with the House speaker was made to Post columnist Voranai Vanijaka in late August, but the newspaper declined the invitation.
Chabaporn Aungkasukho, a representative of Skylight Elegance which organised the trip, said the listing was a printing error and it has been corrected.
Adapted from a story in today’s Bangkok Post.
wonder – to think about something because you want to know more facts or details about it สงสัย
deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
House Speaker – the person who is in charge of most of the activities of the House of Representatives ประธานสภาผู้แทนราษฎร
Senate Speaker – the Senate president; the person who is in charge of political debates in the Senate ประธานวุฒิสภา
media – radio, television, newspaper, the Internet, considered as a group สื่อ
staff – all the workers employed by a person or organisation considered as a group คณะผู้ทำงาน, คนงาน
columnist – a journalist who writes regular articles for a newspaper or magazine ผู้เขียนในหนังสือพิมพ์หรือนิตยสาร, คอลัมน์นิสต์
aide – someone whose job is to help another person in their work ผู้ช่วย
eyebrow – the line of hair above the eye คิ้ว
raise eyebrows – to show that you disapprove of or are surprised by something
participant – someone who takes part in something ผู้เข้าร่วม
topic – a subject that you talk, write or learn about เรื่อง, หัวข้อ
source – someone who gives information แหล่งข่าว
decline – a weakening or reduction in power การเสื่อมอำนาจ
fiscal year – the government budget year which begins in October in Thailand, ปีงบประมาณ
budget – an amount of money able to be spent on something งบประมาณ
lecturer – a teacher at a university or college อาจารย์ผู้บรรยาย
invitation – a written or spoken request asking someone to meet you or to do something with you คำเชิญ
observe – to watch or study someone or something with care สังเกตการณ์
journalist – a person who writes news stories or articles for a newspaper or magazine or broadcasts them on radio or television ผู้สื่อข่าว
reservation – an arrangement for a seat on a plane or train, a room in a hotel, a ticket for a seat at a sports match, etc. to be kept for you การจอง
museum – a building where objects of historical, scientific or artistic interest are kept พิพิธภัณฑ์
broadcast – to send out a programme on television or radio กระจายเสียง,กระจายข่าว
jaunt – a short journey that you make for pleasure การเดินทางหรือท่องเที่ยวในระยะสั้น
incidentally – used for adding related but less important information to what has just been said or for suddenly introducing a new subject อีกประการหนึ่ง
apparently – based only on what you have heard or think, not on what you are certain is true; seemingly ตามที่ได้รู้มา
role – the purpose or influence of someone or something in a particular situation; function or job บทบาท
affiliation – connected with an organisation การผูกพัน
occasional – sometimes, but not frequently or regularly บางครั้งบางคราว
commentator – someone whose job is to write about a particular subject or discuss it on television or radio ผู้วิจารณ์,ผู้ออกความเห็น, ผู้บรรยายข่าว
on behalf of – as a representative of ในนามของ ในฐานะของ
correction – making something right or accurate by changing it or removing mistakes การแก้ไขให้ถูกต้อง