Today (June 26, 2012) at 13.30, in front of the Secretariat of the Cabinet building, the Government House, Ms. Yingluck Shinawatra, the Prime Minister clarified Thailand-NASA cooperation that the project had been originated in the previous government (the then Prime Minister: Mr. Abisit Vejjajiva). On September 28, 2010, GISTDA under Ministry of Science and Technology signed MOU with NASA in order to cooperate on civil aviation and space focusing on atmosphere exploration. Since then, the government has never taken any legally binding action concerning the MOU, nor has the cabinet approved it. The Prime Minister further stated that the project is technical cooperation utilizing advance technology for atmosphere exploration during Monsoon season (August-September). Since there is no such an advance technology in Thailand; with cooperation with NASA, the country benefits from detailed atmosphere information used for weather forecast, and natural disaster forecast.
All responsible governmental agencies and the Royal Thai Army affirmed that the aforementioned project is beneficial to the country. Moreover, Office of the Council of State confirmed that the project does not contradict article 190, paragraph 2 on national security. In fact, the government assigned every Ministry to clarify the issue to people via every channel. However, comments and objections from examining agencies and opposition party concerning benefit and national security are considered harsh.
The Prime Minister also revealed that the cabinet had agreed with utilizing parliamentary mechanism as a response to examine all accusations and objections so that transparency and national interest are sustained. If the aforementioned examination process is slowly conducted; however, NASA may cancel the project due to limitations on climatic time. As a result, Thailand would lose an opportunity to enhance weather forecast capacity which leads to a lack of more accurate information. The government affirmed to seek for a number of channels for information analysis and evaluation, and obey the rule of law through the cabinet’s resolution in order to pursue national interest.
In this regard, the Prime Minister expressed her appreciation to scholars contributing themselves to information and comments which are useful to national interest. She also affirmed that the government acknowledges the significance of education, and scientific research. Moreover, the government was ready to support every means to acquire information useful for the country. The Prime Minister also promised that the government is committed to do its utmost to protect and pursue national interest.