Jun 28, 2015

Thailand - Prayut not bothered over July 4th snub

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Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday said he did not care whether or not the US Embassy invites him to its Fourth of July celebrations in Bangkok this year.

"It's their business. It does not matter. If they invite me, I will [attend]. If they don't, I will not," he said.

Meanwhile, General Wilas Aroonsri, secretary-general to the prime minister, said Prayut had received an invitation. However, the prime minister would not be able to attend the event next Thursday as he would be heading for Tokyo for the Japan-Mekong Summit, scheduled for the following Saturday, July 4.

"That is why [he] will not be able to attend. It does not mean that they did not invite him," Wilas said.

The Nation contacted the US Embassy but an official said no information was available on the matter and refused to comment further.

Last year, no Thai generals were invited to the event because of their role in the May coup. Washington also downgraded Thai-US relations by cutting military aid.

Pramote Nakornthab, a former Thammasat University lecturer, on Thursday regaled his Facebook followers about a discussion he had with Patrick Murphy, the charge d'affaires of the embassy. Pramote said he asked Murphy three times whether the embassy had sent Prayut an invitation but Murphy did not answer clearly.

Murphy met with Pramote to apologise after the embassy wrote "Dr Pramote Nakornthab, Anti-Thaksin Activist" on his invitation for the Fourth of July celebrations, which will be held on July 2 at a Bangkok hotel.

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