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General Prayuth has angry words with the media after some commentators suggested that the army chief’s proposed border fence is really aimed at increasing the army’s budget. 

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Bangkok Post photographer Chanat Katanyu got a glimpse of Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha’s impatience with the media at this year’s Songkran ceremony at the house of General Prem Tinsulanonda.

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Angry general

For Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha, the morning news reports are clearly not his favourite viewing or reading material.
He is not shy about hitting out at what he feels is unfair or misinformed reporting.

His latest battle with the press involves his proposal for a fence to be built along the Malaysian border to hinder movements of southern insurgents.

He did not take kindly to suggestions by some in the media that the proposal was really aimed at increasing the army’s share of the national budget.

The national army chief did not name the media that irked him Tuesday morning, but he made his dissatisfaction clear.

"The allegation is totally unacceptable," Gen Prayuth told reporters on Tuesday. "I made the proposal as a way to strengthen the border line. This has been done in other parts of the world. There must be a fence in some areas along the border, while other areas can be manned by soldiers or police.

Openly angry, Gen Prayuth continued: "How could these media think that the proposal was intended to get money to build a fence? Which part of their brain gave them this opinion? If they wanted to know they should ask me what I really meant. How could they assume that I said this because of that?"

The army chief said if the critics were soldiers they already knew the situation along the Malaysia border. The border line must be safeguarded with equipment, which could be a fence, or something else.

"I did not make the proposal because I want money," he repeated.

Gen Prayuth said the media should comment constructively. Otherwise people would be discouraged in their work.

He ended his brief tirade with this warning: "From now on I will look into comments and articles published by the media. When they cause damage to the country with bad comments, they must be held responsible," he said.

Adapted from a story by Wassana Nanuam. You can read her full story here:

glimpse – a quick or short look กวาดตามองอย่างรวดเร็ว ดูอย่างคร่าวๆ
impatience – being unable or unwilling to accept something unpleasant; being annoyed or irritated with someone/something ความไม่อดทน,  ความใจร้อน
media – radio, television, newspaper, the Internet, considered as a group สื่อ
favourite – something you like the best of all similar things ที่ชอบมากที่สุด, ที่โปรดปราน, ของโปรด
shy – nervous and embarrassed in the company of other people, especially people who you do not know ขี้อาย
misinformed – given the wrong information about something  ได้ข้อมูลผิดๆ
battle – a fight; serious disagreement, strong competition, etc.  การต่อสู้
the press – the media สื่อมวลชน
involve – to be an important or necessary part or result of something เกี่ยวพัน, พัวพัน
proposal – a plan or suggestion for a group to consider ข้อเสนอ
fence – a structure made of wood or wire supported with posts that is put between two areas of land as a boundary, or around a garden/yard, field, etc. to keep animals in, or to keep people and animals out รั้ว
border – the official line separating two areas, regions or countries  เขตแดน อาณาเขต
hinder – to hamper; to stop someone or something from making progess or developing ขัดขวาง
insurgent – someone who belongs to a group of people fighting to take control of their country or area by force กลุ่มกบฏ
take kindly to – to like or appreciate someone/something (usually used in the negative, i.e., to not take kindly too)
suggestion – the possibility that something is true, or evidence showing that something may be true ข้อชวนคิด
aim – purpose; goal เป้าหมาย จุดมุ่งหมาย
share – one part of something that is divided between two or more people ส่วน
budget – an amount of money able to be spent on something งบประมาณ
irk – to annoy someone รบกวน,ทำให้รำคาญ
dissatisfaction – a feeling that you are not pleased and satisfied ความไม่พอใจ, ความขุ่นเคือง
allegation – an accusation; a statement that someone has done something wrong or illegal even though this has not been proved ข้อกล่าวหา
reporter – someone whose job is to write articles or make broadcasts about events in the news ผู้สื่อข่าว, นักข่าว
man – to be responsible for working at a particular place or operate a particular piece of equipment ประจำที่
intend – to plan to do; to want to happen ตั้งใจให้เกิดขึ้น, วางแผนไว้
assume – to accept something to be true without question or proof ทึกทักเอา, คิดว่าเป็นจริง,
critic – a person who expresses disapproval of somebody/something and talks about their bad qualities, especially publicly ผู้วิจารณ์, ผู้จับผิด, ผู้วิเคราะห์
situation – all the circumstances and things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place  สถานการณ์
safeguard – to protect something/somebody from loss, harm or damage; to keep something/somebody safe ป้องกัน, ปกป้อง,  คุ้มครอง, อารักขา
comment – to express an opinion แสดงความคิดเห็น
constructive – intended to be useful or helpful ซึ่งสร้างสรรค์
otherwise – if not; used for saying that if one thing does not happen or is not true, something else will happen, usually something bad มิฉะนั้น, ไม่เช่นนั้น
discouraged – feeling that it is useless to try to do something หมดกำลังใจ, ท้อแท้
tirade – a angry speech criticising somebody/something or accusing somebody of something การพูดประณามที่เผ็ดร้อน,การปราศรัยที่ดุเดือด
hold responsible – to blame someone or something ต้องรับผิดชอบ

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