(1 January) Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has refused to say whether she has talked about the ongoing political crisis with Head of the Privy Councilor during their meeting earlier this morning.
Ms. Yingluck, who also serves as caretaker Minister of Defence, paid the visit to Gen. Prem Tinlasulanond at his official residency in Bangkok′s Dusit district along with commanders of the armed forces, including Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army.
Officials described the meeting as a private meeting in which Ms. Yingluck intends to convey her New Year greetings to and receive blessing from the elderly Gen. Prem. Reporters were not allowed inside Gen. Prem′s house throughout talk, which lasted for about an hour and a half.
Ms. Yingluck told reporters later that Gen. Prem has advised her to take heed to New Year message from His Majesty the King, in which the monarch called for unity of all Thais.
Asked whether she has discussed any political issue with Gen. Prem, Ms. Yingluck simply smiled and left the press conference. Gen. Prayuth similarly refused to respond to journalists? question about the matter.
However, it was extremely unlikely that the political crisis which has been gripping Thailand for months has not been discussed by the group.
As a Privy Councilor, Gen. Prem is widely seen as a close royal subject of His Majesty the King and a powerful figure among the Thai armed forces. Supporters of the Redshirts movements have accused Gen. Prem of engineering the 2006 military coup which ousted Ms. Yingluck′s brother, former PM Thaksin Shinawatra.
The meeting also came at a time amid the fears that the military might intervene to put an end to the clashes which pitted Ms. Yingluck′s government against the protesters led by People′s Committee for Absolute Monarchy With the King As Head of State (PCAD).
Gen. Prayuth has told the media last week that he had not ruled out the possibility of another military coup, saying it depends on the situation and that "anything can happen".
For comments, or corrections to this article please contact: [email protected]
You can also find Khaosod English on Twitter and Facebook