THAI Prime Minister and junta head Prayuth Chan-ocha lost his temper at a Reuters journalist at Government House today, apparently over the news agency’s recent interview with former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
The reporter asked Prayuth about the cost of the damage of the rice-pledging scheme, which was implemented by the previous government under ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra – Thaksin’s sister.
Prayuth said the number had not been finalized yet and would be announced later.
Then sparks flew.
“Why? You really want it now? You must tell Reuters to say [write] better yesterday [Tuesday],” he snapped, according to The Nation.
He then abruptly left the podium for his upstairs office.
The reason behind Prayuth’s displeasure is said to be Reuters’ interview, published yesterday, with Thaksin, who was overthrown by a military coup in 2006.
In the interview, Thaksin harshly criticized the ruling military junta of Thailand, saying: “It is a government with no freedom and no pool of talent to drive the economy.”
He predicted, “The longer they stay, the longer the economic hardship is going to be there.”
Thaksin’s comments clearly turned heads in Bangkok.
Referring to Thaksin, government spokesman Major General Sansern Kaewkamnerd said, “He remains a person without credibility who thinks he is above the law.”