The army chief drew flak from the public this week after he announced there was a possibility that high school students who have undergone territorial defence training may no longer be exempt from the annual conscription draw.
Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha said a growing number of students are applying to join the territorial defence forces, popularly called Ror Dor in Thai, to avoid the possibility they might be conscripted.
He said this could lead to a shortfall of fresh recruits and military reserves. Also, it perpetuates the disparity when educated young men can avoid conscription, but not their peers who cannot afford higher education.
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