Prayuth 'sorry', won't confront Sondhi
- Published: 14/01/2013 at 02:23 PM
- Online news:
Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha has apologised for using strong words to describe the yellow-shirt People's Alliance for Democracy, but refused to respond to nasty criticism from PAD co-leader Sondhi Limthongkul.
Gen Prayuth said on Monday he was sorry he spoke harshly and inappropriately when he reacted to a broadcast on the pro-PAD ASTV-Manager TV channel about the Thai-Cambodian border dispute around Preah Vihear temple ruins.
He also said the soldiers who protested in front of the ASTV-Manager office on the weekend acted on their own and gathered in their off-duty time and did so because they wanted to protect the army's pride and their commander in chief.
There was no intention on their part to threaten the media. The soldiers wanted to express their feelings about an inaccurate report which had damaged their morale, he added
He refused to respond to comments made by Mr Sondhi, saying he did not want to quarrel with anyone. He admitted he felt angry and saddened by the comments, but would keep his emotions in check.
"We're all Thais here. If I insulted anyone, I apologise,” said Gen Prayuth.
The army chief on Sunday ordered the soldiers to stand down from their quiet protest outside ASTV-Manager. The rally was sparked by a difference in opinion between the army chief and ASTV-Manager over the pending ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the dispute between Thailand and Cambodia over ownership of disputed land immediately adjoining the Preah Vihear temple.
Mr Sondhi, whose company owns ASTV-Manager, branded the general a failure, saying he had proven himself incapable of tackling the problems falling under his responsibility, including the violence in the South and the territorial dispute with Cambodia.
Mr Sondhi also said he would not apologise for his newspaper's stand. He claimed many soldiers and officers also believed Gen Prayuth had failed to stand up for the army against its critics.
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- Writer: Online Reporters
Position: Online Reporters