Published: 5 Apr 2011 at 10.48
Family members of jailed TPN coordinator Veera Somkwamkid and his secretary Ratree Pipatanapaiboon have sought the help of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra to secure their release from prison in Cambodia.
Wilaiwan Somkwamkid, centre, mother of Veera Somkwamkid, is greeted by Puea Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit, left at the party’s office. Mrs Wilaiwan, accompanied by her son, Preecha, right, is seeking the help of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in securing Veera’s release from Prey Sar prison in Cambodia.
Veera’s mum begs Thaksin to help free jailed pair
Family members of jailed Thai Patriots Network coordinator Veera Somkwamkid and his secretary Ratree Pipatanapaiboon have sought the help of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra to secure their release from prison in Cambodia.
Veera’s mother Wilaiwan and younger brother Preecha and Ratree’s niece Warisa Thongngern have submitted a letter to Thaksin through the Puea Thai Party in the hope that he would be able to help the two.
The families believed Thaksin had previously helped arrange the release of Thai air traffic controller Sivarak Chutipong, who was also charged with espionage, after he passed details of Thaksin’s flight plans to the Thaiembassy in 2009.
Mrs Wilaiwan said her family had waited for four months for the present government to help her son. Mr Preecha, Veera’s younger brother, last month submitted a letter through Democrat MP Panich Vikitsreth to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva seeking help, but no progress had been made, she said.
Thaksin’s aide in Thailand, Noppadon Pattama, received the letter on behalf of his boss. He said he would send it to Thaksin by email.
He believed Thaksin, who he said was now in a Middle Eastern country, would discuss the matter with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. Thaksin was briefly a special adviser to Hun Sen, a controversial appointment.
Veera and Ratree are serving time in Prey Sar prison in Phnom Penh. They were sentenced to eight and six years in jail respectively for spying and illegal entry.
Five other Thais who were arrested at the same time on Dec 29 last year for illegal entry were sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment. They were freed after the court suspended their remaining eight-month jail terms.
Meanwhile, the Thai Patriots Network yesterday decided to withdraw from Veera and Ratree’s case.
Chaiwat Sinsuwong, the leader of the Thai Patriots Network, said the network would leave the case in the hands of the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Veera and Ratree have signed a document empowering Karun Saingam, a member of the network’s legal team, to represent them.
Mr Chaiwat said Mr Abhisit had tried to drive a wedge between the families of the two and the network.
He said the network would not interfere in the decision of the families to seek help from Thaksin.
“If they believe it will speed up the release, it is fine. The government and the Foreign Ministry aren’t sincere in helping either of them,” he said.
“I think anyone can help. It is not a slap to the face of the government. We feel sympathetic towards the families of Veera and Ratree who want them to be released as quickly as possible,” Mr Abhisit said.
spokesman – a person who speaks on behalf of a group or an organization โฆษก
seek (past form: sought)– to try to obtain or achieve something พยายามได้มา
secure – to get or achieve something ได้รับ, ทำให้ได้ผล
release – allowing someone to go free การปล่อยตัว
beg – to ask somebody for something especially in an anxious way because you want or need it very much อ้อนวอน, ขอร้อง
pair – two people who are doing something together คู่
Thai Patriots Network – The group formed to pressure the Thai government into not approving any agreements which would result in the loss of territory to Cambodia เครือข่ายกลุ่มคนไทยหัวใจรักชาติ
coordinator – someone whose job is to organise the various parts of an activity and make sure that all the people involved work well together ผู้ประสานงาน
ousted – forced to leave a position of power ที่ถูกปลดจากตำแหน่ง
niece – a daughter of your brother or sister, or a daughter of your husband’s or wife’s brother or sister หลานสาว
submit – to formally give something to someone so that can make a decision about it ยื่น (เอกสาร) เพื่อการพิจารณา
arrange – to plan or organise something in advance จัดเตรียม, เตรียมการ
air traffic controller – a person whose job is to give instructions by radio to pilots of aircraft so that they know when and where to take off or land ผู้ควบคุมจราจรทางอากาศ
charge – to accuse someone officially of committing a crime ตั้งข้อกล่าวหา
espionage – the activity of secretly getting important political or military information about another country or of finding out another company’s secrets by using spies จารกรรม
details – small facts or pieces of information relating to a situation รายละเอียด
embassy – a group of officials who represent their government in a foreign country สถานทูต
progress – the process of improving or developing, or of getting nearer to achieving or completing something ความก้าวหน้า
aide – someone whose job is to help another person in their work ผู้ช่วย
on behalf of – as a representative of ในนามของ ในฐานะของ
matter – a situation or subject which is being dealt with or considered เรื่อง, ภารกิจ, งาน
briefly – for a short time ชั่วครู่, สั้นๆ, ในเวลาสั้นๆ
adviser – a person who gives advice, especially somebody who knows a lot about a particular subject ที่ปรึกษา
controversial – causing disagreement ซึ่งก่อให้เกิดการโต้แย้ง
appointment – officially choosing someone for a job การแต่งตั้ง
serve time – to spend time in prison for having committed a crime ถูกจำคุก
sentence – (of a court of law) to give a punishment to someone who has been accused of committing a crime คำพิพากษา
respectively – in the order in which they were mentioned ตามลำดับ
spying – secretly collecting and reporting information about the activities of another country or organisation การจารกรรม
illegal – against the law ผิดกฎหมาย
imprisonment – the punishment of being put in prison จำคุก
suspended jail term – a situation when the court decides that the person who has been proven guilty of a crime does not have to undergo the punishment given, usually under certain conditions รอลงอาญา
meanwhile – at the same time ในเวลาเดียวกัน
withdraw – to stop taking part in something ถอนตัว
document – a piece of paper or a set of papers containing official information เอกสาร
empower – to give someone the legal power to do something ทำให้มีอำนาจ
legal – relating to the law or lawyers เกี่ยวกับกฎหมาย
drive a wedge between – to cause a disagreement between two sides; to cause disunity among to sides
interfere – to deliberately become involved in a situation and try to influence the way that it develops แทรกแซง
sincere – (of a person, feelings or behaviour) not pretending or lying; honest จริงใจ, ตรงไปตรงมา
slap – a quick hit with the flat part of the hand ตบ
sympathetic – showing a natural feeling of kindness and understanding that you have for someone who is experiencing something very unpleasant เห็นอกเห็นใจ