Gen Prayuth keeps army neutral
- Published: 12/11/2012 at 01:17 PM
- Online news:
Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha has ordered the army to keep its distance from politics, which is heating up with another mass anti-government rally planned and the decision to strip Abhisit Vejjajiva of his military rank.
Gen Prayuth made the army's position clear on Monday: it will not try to deter the protest by the Pitak Siam group set for Nov 24 at the Royal Plaza as the rally is within democratic principles.
But he reiterated his intention not to allow active soldiers to join in the protest, although they can do so in a personal capacity.
"I don't want active soldiers to take part in the gathering because of possible consequences if there are problems coming out of the rally,'' he said.
Pitak Siam leader Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit has called for one million people to attend the group's second rally.
The first demonstration at the Royal Turf Club on Oct 28 attracted an estimated 20,000 people, according to organisers. Police put the figure at closer to 7,000, but the stadium was full.
The army chief said the army is waiting for a clear order from Defence Minister ACM Sukumpol Suwanatat on the move by the Defence Ministry to withdraw Mr Abhisit's military rank.
The army was not involved in the issue, which is between the ministry and the opposition leader, he added.
ACM Sukumpol has endorsed the finding of the defence panel, which ruled that Mr Abhisit's salary received from the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy where he was a lecturer should be returned and he be stripped of his rank of acting sub-lieutenant.
Gen Prayuth said the process is not over as there are many steps still to be taken, but the army was ready to follow the order from the ministry, which is the direct supervising agency of the army, he added.
About the author
- Writer: Wassana Nanuam