Junta’s opponents want to be prosecuted: junta leader

Thailand’s junta head has accused human right defenders and pro-democracy activists of wanting to be prosecuted as a way to discredit the military regime internationally.
 
On 28 September 2016, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta premier, stated that the junta’s various laws limiting freedom of expression do not affect the majority of Thai people. Rather, the few who violate these laws merely want to be prosecuted so they can discredit the junta on the world stage. He also blamed the media for defaming the junta, reported Siamrath. 
 
“I want to make the media understand me and become my speakers and listeners. Right now they’re reporting things carelessly and arbitrarily. I’m not blaming the media but they have to adapt because the media is important for national reform. They are the country’s speakers. Everything they’ve written, said and criticised can reach other countries because the world has no boundaries,” Siam Rath quoted Prayut as saying. 
 
The junta leader said this at the ‘Bangkok Post Forum 2016’ seminar under the theme ‘Moving Thailand Forward’ organised by Post Publishing Plc at the Vibhavadee Ballroom, Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao. 
 
According to Siam Rath, Prayut also promised that once a civilian government comes into power, the junta will leave immediately. But future governments will have to follow the 20-year National Strategic Plan designed by the junta, as well as maintain over a hundred NCPO orders issued under Article 44 of the Interim Charter which grants the junta absolute power.
 
Prayut qualified his statement by affirming that any incoming civilian government will have to follow the junta’s strategic plan even if they do not want to, because they will be obliged to by organic laws written by the junta-appointed drafters.  
 
 
 
Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha (Photo from Siamrath)

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