Thai PM escapes the woes of Bangkok

Thai PM escapes the woes of Bangkok
Embattled caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra receives roses from supporters during her visit to a royal project in Chiang Mai yesterday.

The last appearance of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra seen in Bangkok was when she could not hold back her tears during a press interview about demands from anti-government protesters that she and her family leave the country.

"I have backed down to the point where I don't know how to back down any further," Yingluck said with tears briefly formed in her eyes and trying her best to remain composed and strong.

That happened on Tuesday, the day after she dissolved parliament.

Normally, the globe-trotting leader has had a habit of flying out of Thailand to foreign countries to get away from political heat. But the current situation is far from normal and prevents her from getting away abroad.

Yingluck spent five days in her hometown in Chiang Mai and stayed away from the capital, where thousands of anti-government protesters continue their rally, a short distance from her office at Government House.

Originally, her trip north was set only for Thursday and Friday.

On Thursday, she was scheduled to chair a meeting with the head of government offices on how to solve fog and smoke pollution problem in the North. On Friday, her main duty was to ride a special train from Chiang Mai to Lampang with several ministers.

But her journey from Bangkok to her hometown began a day early. She flew to Chiang Mai on Wednesday night.

The PM appeared with a broad smile and delight when she was greeted by thousands of supporters at the northern airport. She was welcomed by chants of "fighting fighting", plus flowers, hugs, kisses, and a poster that said "Chiang Mai people love PM Yingluck". A Buddha amulet from a revered monk was also given to her.

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