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I Am Not a Ruthless Person, Prayuth Tells International Media

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
BANGKOK: Thailand's junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha has hit back at criticism he will misuse what Thai media have dubbed a "dictator law," saying he is not a "ruthless person".

"Please explain to foreign countries or they may think I am intoxicated with power," he told journalists after a clash with an ABC reporter in Bangkok.

Mr Prayuth plans to lift martial law 10 months after toppling Thailand's democratically-elected government but intends to invoke Article 44 of a junta-imposed interim constitution that gives him power over all aspects of government, law and order, and absolves him of any legal responsibility for his actions.

"Don't worry. If you're not doing anything wrong, there's no need to be afraid," the former army general said after a cabinet meeting.

Mr Prayuth has asked Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej to approve the lifting of martial law that bans gatherings of more than five people and gives soldiers sweeping powers.

Approval is expected to be a formality.

Tour operators have complained the law has damaged tourism that accounts for more than 10 percent of Thailand's economy.

But Mr Prayuth's decision to invoke Article 44 has been criticised by human rights groups, lawyers, political parties and academics who argue that one person should not have unchecked power.

Under a similar law in the 1960s a Thai dictator carried out summary executions.

Mr Prayuth, who last week sarcastically said he could execute journalists who asked him questions, appeared irritated when asked about democracy during a press conference.

He said Article 44 would be applied in a constructive way, as the law gives officials a mechanism to deal with perpetrators of wrongdoings without the hassle of red tape.

He undid some buttons of his shirt to explain to ABC reporter Samantha Hawley that Thai democracy was a case of wrong buttons in the wrong holes.

He said the result was not only that the shirt was wrinkled but even the trousers looked untidy.

Mr Prayuth has said he will allow elections but has given no timetable for relinquishing power.

Comments

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"Don't worry. If you're not doing anything wrong, there's no need to be afraid,"

That's a great quote, taken straight out of the NSA handbook.

Posted by Tbs on April 1, 2015 11:35

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General Prayuht is a nice man with good intentions.
It is not easy to manage Thailand, make everybody ( more than 60 million people) happy.
General Prayuth is much depend on honest Government officials.
However, until now not a single government officer, ( high or low ranking) has been charged with the thai human slavery. Not 1 single one!! Why not? Thai slaves in graves on a Indonesian island, it is shocking, General! And the human trafficking still goes on and on! All this is only possible because of thai influential people without a soul. We saw pictures of liberated thai slave boys, united with their family after being a slave for 2 years! It was something to cry about, General prayuth.

Posted by Kurt on April 1, 2015 11:51

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I agree with words of Junta leader General Prayuth. He is not a ruthless person. I am sure he tries his very best. However, the General needs to do better with the International Media.
Phuket is 'international', General. Nothing on Phuket is going right this moment. International media sees daily how wrong things are on Phuket. The international Corp Diplomatique ( Consuls) are flabbercasted that your Phuket Governor not meet Consuls, but avoid meeting them.

Posted by Kurt on April 1, 2015 12:45

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Tour operators have complained the law has damaged tourism

===

90% of tourists have no knowledge of what kind of regime is in Thailand , and don't care.

The issue with travel insurance that it allegedly provides no cover because of martial law, is NON-ISSUE as it seems it doesn't exist: those policies I examined have no such clause at all, only civil war/unrest - and even then only in relation to a particular damage suffered. Since such issues are resolved at the level of re-insurance, I guess even if few policies provide for such exclusion , they represent small position on the market.
Moreover, non-sense of claim that there is no travel insurance for countries under martial law, is apparent in regard of Egypt that for 30 years under Mubarak was always under martial law - and always well packed with a mix of European, and not only, tourists.
It seems that someone spreading fantasies, or don't know how read, or simply don't understahd fine print in policies.

Posted by Sue on April 1, 2015 15:14


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