Surapong seeks justice from government

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BANGKOK, Nov 14 — Ex-deputy prime minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul, also a key leader of the Pheu Thai Party, will submit a letter to Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha at Government House Monday, to seek justice for party leader/ousted prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra regarding the rice-pledging programme allegedly tainted with massive corruption.

Mr Surapong, a former foreign affairs minister, asked journalists why no government action was taken against former prime minister/ex-Democrat Party leader Chuan Leekpai and Montri Chenvidyakarn, secretary general of the now defunct Financial Sector Restructuring Authority (FSRA).

FSRA was formed by then prime minister Chuan to sell bad loans following the financial crisis which hit Thailand in 1997.

Mr Surapong said the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) had sent a complaint to Office of the Attorney General charging Mr Montri with negligence of duty and that the Thai public had to pay debts of more than one trillion baht over a long period.

This showed that FSRA was guilty and Mr Chuan, who was prime minister at that time, was the agency supervisor, said Mr Surapong. Why was Mr Chuan not impeached while the case against Ms Yingluck continues with attempts to impeach her for the rice-pledging programme.

Permanent Secretary for Finance Rungson Sriworasat, chairman of the subcommittee inspecting governments’ rice subsidy programmes, yesterday told journalists that damages incurred from 2004 to 2014 stood at about Bt600 billion.

Of the total, damages inflicted by the Yingluck administration totaled Bt500 billion and the rest by the previous governments.

Mr Surapong charged that NACC must also impeach former prime ministers Abhisit Vejjajiva or Gen Surayud Chulanont for being responsible on the rice subsidy programme.

He said current Prime Minister Gen Prayut who is also the leader of  the National Council for Peace and Order to probe on these issues and not to adopt a double standard practice.

Mr Surapong said he would also submit similar complaints to the NACC and to the Justice Ministry.