Paetongtarn criticised for holiday plans during Songkran

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

The holiday plans of Pheu Thai Party leader Paetongtarn Shinawatra have ignited a fiery debate as she opts to fly to Hong Kong during the Songkran festival, leaving tongues wagging and eyebrows raised.

Amid preparations for a grand celebration of Songkran, Thailand’s New Year and a UNESCO-recognised cultural treasure, questions loom over Paetongtarn’s decision to venture abroad instead of staying put.

Former red-shirt movement leader Jatuporn Prompan voiced his bewilderment at Paetongtarn’s intentions, particularly as she occupies a prominent role in Thailand’s National Soft Power Strategy Committee, tasked with promoting the country’s cultural influence.

“Why do you [Paetongtarn] do this? I do not understand her thinking.”

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Jatuporn hinted at a sense of discordance between the Pheu Thai leader’s actions and the committee’s objectives.

Jatuporn further criticised the timing of Paetongtarn’s trip, suggesting it should be scheduled post-April 21 to align with the conclusion of the festivities.

The controversy gained traction as Jatuporn took to Facebook Live to highlight the confusion arising from the government’s promotional plans. Tourists, misled by the announcement, anticipated Songkran festivities throughout April, unaware that activities were not uniformly spread across the month.

In response, Dr Surapong Suebwonglee, secretary of the National Soft Power Strategy Committee, cited constraints in both budget and time, tempering expectations for this year’s festivities while promising a grander spectacle in the future, reported Bangkok Post.

Despite the controversy, the Maha Songkran World Water Festival in Bangkok remains a focal point of celebration, with festivities set to grace the capital’s streets from April 11 to 15, promising joy and jubilation for locals and visitors alike.

In related news, Paetongtarn is making waves in the nation’s political sector. As the current leader of the ruling Pheu Thai Party, she brings a combination of academic prowess and political lineage to the table.

In other news, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra‘s health condition has sparked controversy, with conflicting reports emerging about his fitness. Justice Minister Tawee Sodsong claims Thaksin’s health is dire, but questions arise after photos surfaced of him lifting weights.

Politics NewsSongkran NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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