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General Prayuth Chan-ocha gives his televised speech in Thailand tonight

Army Commanders to Control Thailand for About 15 Months, Says General in Charge

Friday, May 30, 2014
PHUKET: The Army is likely to remain in control of Thailand for about 14 or 15 months, coup commander General Prayuth Chan-ocha told a nationwide audience in a televised speech tonight.

He said the First Phase of two or three months would be followed by a Second Phase of approximately a year, leading up to Phase 3: democratic elections.

In a speech that lasted about 40 minutes, the general summarised the first week of control by the National Council for Peace and Order, offering justifications for the Army's actions.

He spoke of the 2014 budget and the national priorities and said the prime need was for an end to conflict and understanding that Thailand needed to move forward. The aim was ''to reduce conflicts, not promote one side,'' he said.

It was important to ''regain the trust of the people,'' he said. ''Since May 22 numbers of armed groups have been apprehended and large amounts of military grade weapons seized,'' the general told his audience.

Curfews had been eased and if the situation continues to improve, curfews will be ''shortened further in areas that have no incidents and tourist areas.''

People had been taken into custody for up to seven days to ''allow them a cooling off period'' but those who failed to report as commanded would be ''considered uncooperative'' and be prosecuted.

He said that ''differences should be discussed to find agreeable solutions.''

The previous nine years and particularly the six months of street protests had produced a major setback for the nation.

He said the 2014 budget began with the NCPO beginning to repay 92 billion to rice farmers and would continue with big projects ''considered and studied carefully.''

He said that the NCPO ''will not consider projects on the basis of popularity or political reasons, like in the past.''

The authorities were seeking to fix the prices of essential agricultural products and to increase productivity. A plan to reduce illegal workers and give opportunities to Thais was also in train, he said.

''Thailand and Thai people are still suffering many problems,'' he said.

In the Second Phase, which would begin after the first two or three months of the First Phase, reconciliation centres would be established with the Internal Security Operations Command ensuring dialogue. In this ''confrontation free'' phase the Constitution would be rewritten.

Phase Three would bring a general election under a democratic system ''legal and acceptable to all sides.''

The NCPO ''did not want power for its own benefit,'' he said. ''Democracy cannot move forward when there are conflicts.''

The general said he understood the concerns of Thailand's ''international friends.'' ''We understand we are living in a democratic world,'' he said, asking for ''time to mend our democratic system.''

The military would return to its duty once democratic elections were held, he said.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


They could IMO stay there for the rest of this century.

Posted by Wilai on May 30, 2014 22:59


The Groundhog emerged, saw a shadow and gave us 15 more months of winter.

I see sanctions coming.

Posted by ThaiMike on May 30, 2014 23:19


Is democracy not the method to solve conflicts, small or big?

Posted by Anonymous on May 31, 2014 08:17

Editor Comment:

Not if you have two ''democracies'' in one country and they are on the verge of violence.


Call me naive but everything he says makes a lot of sense to me. I don't think we're heading toward 15 months of winter, quite the opposite. This beautiful country deserves to be put back on track, good luck!

Posted by chris on May 31, 2014 08:54


So what will happen about ASEAN?
Has that been put on hold as well?

Posted by Tbs on May 31, 2014 10:08

Editor Comment:

You mean the Asean Economic Community? It's going ahead.


Looking forward and happy about 15 months stability....
As a foreigner living here since 30 years and having a good understanding knowledge about the issues, I am supporting the Army 100%

Posted by Mr. K on May 31, 2014 11:55


They should really start with voting governors into office. Giving more local autonomy.

Starting big infrastructure projects, high speed train, motorways - beware of white elephants - they should not forget some "going green" initiatives. Like for example allow only e-scooter to newly register on Phuket and phasing the 2-tact vehicles out. Think about a Phuket without the crazy loud motorbikes. If they like the big projects, why not build a nuclear power station? Why not build some modern garbage incinerators. So much left over to do instead of going into the rice buying and first car selling business.

Posted by Lena on May 31, 2014 17:03

Editor Comment:

There is a lot that a benevolent dictator - who doesn't need to buy votes - could do to change the money mindset madness.


There were no "two democracies" in Thailand. Only one democraticly elected government and a minority of election losers who then became an undemocratic mob. Now there is no democracy no more in Thailand. Only the dictatorship of a military junta.

Posted by volker on June 1, 2014 21:08

Editor Comment:

There was an extremely corrupt government, specialising in nepotism and cronyism and run by a despot living in exile, and there was a street rebellion by the people, calling for reforms to try to reboot Thailand. Two democracies. The ''mob'' running the country was created by the ''family business,'' Volker. Now at least Thailand stands a chance.


Long overdue, good move by this general hope he can return Thailand back to the land of smiles. As a US citizen with a Thai wife from the north, we both support this move and hope for change for the good of ALL Thai people. Clean up the mess General.

Posted by Akman on June 2, 2014 13:37


I am not generally in favour of the coup but as each day passes, some of Thailands issues appear to be receiving some long awaited action.
With the exception of the right to vote, the success will depend on how quickly other rights are restored to the people such as free speech.
If the military can create an environment, where people can voice their concerns without fear and the military can accept criticism on whether the decisions taken are right or wrong, there may just be some stability. No one is expected to make the correct decision on each an every occasion. You can only make decisions based in information available and the situation that existed at that time.
On another issue, I read elsewhere that 4 more sections of the constitution were being restored. When the constitution was suspended then later repealed or annulled, how will this deal with previous cases before the courts. A repeal or annulment without re-inactment should be treated by definition as if that law never existed. You cannot continue to prosecute a crime under a law with does not now exist.
Further, I read that the military intend to re-instate some 4 sections of the Constitution which then means unless they reinstate these sections retrospectively past offences not longer exist
The time between declaring that Constitution annulled and the date of reinactment should itself prove to be an amnesty for any prior offence committed as any authority to enforce was also removed.
Maybe even libel, defamation and the Computer Crimes Act?

Posted by Manowar on June 4, 2014 18:21

Wednesday May 12, 2021
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