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Thai junta to seek extradition of lese majeste suspects
Publication Date : 09-08-2014
"It may be tough to have them extradited back to Thailand, because the countries they live in now have no lese majeste law"
Thailand's ruling junta will seek the extradition of Thais living overseas who allegedly offended the monarchy, National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) head General Prayuth Chan-ocha said yesterday.
Prayuth named the targeted individuals as Choopong Thithuan, Anek Chaichana, Saneh Thinsaen, Amnuay Kaewchompoo and Ong-art Thanakamolnan.
He said they were wanted for "insulting the monarchy" and had fled the country after their arrest warrants were issued.
"It may be tough to have them extradited back to Thailand, because the countries they live in now have no lese majeste law," Prayuth said.
The junta leader, who is also Army chief, was speaking during his weekly "Returning Happiness to People" television address, which started at 5pm yesterday - four hours earlier than in previous weeks.
Prayuth said the people should not bring the monarchy into their political conflicts as this would cause damage to the institution.
He said attempts were being made to create a division in the country, splitting society into peasants and the elite, even though slavery and the class system had been abolished in Thailand since King Rama V's reign.
"People who use these terms are looking down on the Thai people. We are all equal as humans even though we might have differences in terms of birth, occupation, income or quality of life," Prayuth said.
He said these inequalities were caused by the fact that Thailand was a democracy with a free economy.
Prayuth said that to avoid conflicts in the future, the law should be respected and enforced fairly.