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Thai royals being treated unfairly, says army chief
Publication Date : 06-08-2013
Thai Army commander General Prayuth Chan-ocha yesterday defended the monarchy against what he called unfair criticism, and lambasted rumour-mongers calling for a coup to end the ongoing political instability.
He said Their Majesties' current stay outside Bangkok did not signify anything about a looming political confrontation, and that comment and speculation on reasons for their trip, on social media, was not fair towards the monarchy.
The general also criticised people who spread rumours of a military coup and tell others to hoard food supplies ahead of political "turmoil" that could turn violent.
Prayuth said he was personally happy with the King's improving health and many senior foreign military officers congratulated him upon what he described as a national delight.
"But I don't know what's with some Thai people who do not like the monarch," he said, without elaborating.
The general said he did not agree with certain statements made on Sunday at a rally held by an anti-Thaksin Shinawatra movement that referred to the monarchy. He maintained that the monarchy played no part in Thai politics and stayed neutral, and beyond political conflicts, all along.
"I don't understand what's wrong with some people, who not only fight against compatriots but also hurt the monarchy and attack the military, or these people want the country to no longer exist, through internal conflicts, or they are not Thai people," he said, in an emotional way.
Meanwhile, the "People's Army" plans to petition the Constitutional Court, the Administrative Court and the Ombudsman over the government's move to implement the Internal Security Act, which it deems a violation of people's constitutional rights, leader Thaikorn Polsuwan said yesterday.
He said he would also file a petition with the National Anti-Corruption Commission to take action against the national police chief for instructing police to block the public from joining a political rally.
The People's Army, who are rallying at Lumpini Park, decided to step up their campaign today and tomorrow after being tipped off that the Cabinet may back an emergency decree on political amnesty, and cite the anti-government rally as a reason for doing this.
The group yesterday submitted letters clarifying the causes and objectives of the rally to the EU, United Kingdom, Chinese and Japanese embassies in Bangkok.
Meanwhile, Pheu Thai Party secretary-general Phumtham Wechayachai has insisted that an amnesty bill not be withdrawn from the Parliamentary agenda even though the Opposition and anti-government groups have demanded it be withdrawn - or they will not join Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's political reform plan.