Thai PM won't go to Koh Samet

THAILAND - Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said that she would prefer to stay in Bangkok than go to Koh Samet, after returning from the overseas trip to Africa.

Arriving in Bangkok, she said the situation in Koh Samet is returning to normal, referring to the reports from Energy Minister Pongsak Ruktapongpisal. She noted that right now, all parties involved are busy plotting the rehabilitation plan, under the close coordination between the Energy and Interior ministries.

She said that once the facts involving the crude oil leak are available, the authorities would devise policies to prevent reoccurrence in the long term.

A group of anti-government protesters plan to stage a rally in Bangkok this weekend despite the enforcement of the Internal Security Act.

Yingluck admitted that she is worried about the rally and instructed officers to ensure safety of the protesters and the general public. Though the Internal Security Act was enforced, it was just a precautionary measure as part of the government's aim to stop violence.

Deputy Prime Minister Niwatthumrong Boonsongpaisan also revealed that the situation on the island has been improving, with help from the government sector, the private sector and the general public. He noted that the prime minister has been closely monitoring the situation while she was in Africa, with full concern in the Thai tourism image.

Opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva on Friday visited Ao Phrao in Koh Samet. Accompanied by some Democrat MPs, he was seen conversing with local residents and executives of PTT Group. He urged the government to review precautionary measures and estabish a system to properly handle the rehabilitation process, to restore public confidence.

Bowon Vongsinudom, president of PTT Global Chemical, said today that the oil slick cleanup has continued. Over 10 tonnes of cleanup-related waste have been shipped out of the island. He insisted that the cleanup would be completed within 1-2 days.