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Wai Phuket . . . PM Abhisit on his last visit. Now, a secret holiday

Latest: PM and Family Holiday in Secret on Phuket

Sunday, May 10, 2009
Breaking News

THE PRIME Minister, Abhisit Vejjjajiva, has been holidaying this weekend at an undisclosed location on Phuket with his family.

Usually reliable sources confirmed that the PM has been on the island and will be returning to Bangkok tonight.

The PM entered his office at Government House in Bangkok at 1:30 pm Friday to do paperwork and record his weekly TV program before taking the weekend off, reports said.

Phuketwan has been able to confirm that the PM was definitely taking the opportunity to preview the island before he plays host to the leaders from 15 other nations at the Asean Plus Six Summit on June 13-14.

It is believed Khun Abhisit stayed at Cape Panwa, on the island's east coast.

But spokespeople at both the Cape Panwa Hotel and Sri Panwa declined to confirm that the PM had been staying at either resort.

It has been a mostly beautiful ''Summer'' weekend on Phuket, with only a few showers interrupting bright sunshine and a light breeze.

The PM will be weighing whether to use the provisions of the Internal Security Act to keep protection of all leaders at maximum levels during the June summit.

There has been talk of some leaders bringing their own security if they are unhappy with the security turned on by Thailand following the invasion of the Pattaya resort where the summit was to be held last month.

However, it has been pointed out that the presence of too many uniformed, armed officers on the streets of the holiday island could be as much of a turn-off for tourists as the Pattaya invasion.

The PM skipped his previous appointment to visit Phuket for an Asean Education meeting earlier this year but was on the island for the meeting of Asean Plus Three Finance Ministers, when he had pleasant things to say about the island.

He was also due to speak at the recent tri-nation conference on Halal technology involving Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, but sent a senior official from his department instead.

That conference was held at the Hilton Arcadia Phuket Resort in the west coast beach township of Karon, the main venue for the Asean Plus Six Summit.

It is believed that Cabinet, which meets on Wednesday this week to discuss summit security, will meet on the island in the lead-up to Asean Plus Six.

The summit has a troubled history. First scheduled for Bangkok, it was postponed because of the invasion of the capital's airports by yellow shirt protesters in November.

Then it was to be Phuket's turn, but sufficient accommodation could not be found during the Songkran-Easter break, so it went to Pattaya.

Poor security led to red shirt protesters invading the resort on the day the summit was to begin, triggering an emergency airlift to safety for some national leaders.

The 10-member Asean grouping of Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos and the Philippines is to be bolstered by China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India.

In the context of the global downturn, this makes Asean Plus Six the most important conference in the Asia-Pacific for many years.

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Wednesday January 19, 2022
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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