Video link brings PM to Cabinet
Final instructions beamed in from Green Valley estate
Caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra yesterday relied on a video-conferencing system to chair a Cabinet meeting from his home in the picturesque Mae Rim district of this northern city.
Thaksin has missed all three Tuesday morning Cabinet meetings at Government House since the People's Alliance for Democracy moved its protest to a site outside the compound on March 14.
A number of Cabinet members accompanying the premier to Chiang Mai, including Natural Resources and Environment Minister Yongyuth Tiyapairat, Deputy Interior Minister Sermsak Pongpanit and Deputy Public Health Minister Anutin Charnveerakul, were also present via video, while the rest of the Cabinet attended the meeting at Government House in Bangkok.
A power-generating unit supplied by the Provincial Electricity Authority was brought to Thaksin's home in the Green Valley housing estate in case of emergency.
After the meeting, Thaksin and his entourage had lunch at the restaurant where he regularly dines in Muang district.
There were about 30 other diners in the restaurant at the time, but they appeared to be less than enthusiastic about Thaksin's appearance.
Thaksin is usually warmly welcomed in Chiang Mai, which is his home province and political stronghold. He is often presented with flowers and asked to pose for photographs. The owner of the food shop gave Thaksin an amulet and wished him good luck to survive the ongoing political crisis.
During the Cabinet meeting, Thaksin called on his ministers to correct any false information spread by "a group of people" staging street demonstrations, a source said.
The premier also instructed relevant agencies to help ensure a high voter turnout in Sunday's general election, which has been boycotted by the three main opposition parties.