'Death threats' blamed on Laos exiles
published : 7 Feb 2017 at 02:28
Thai people who fled to Laos to escape lese majeste changes have issued the death threats against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, the National Security Council chief claims.
Gen Thawip Netniyom told reporters the suspects last week posted death threats against the two top coup officers on Facebook.
He said "up to six" Thai suspects in Laos are involved.
Gen Thawip plans to visit Laos to follow up on the government's extradition request and said on Monday he was awaiting Lao confirmation of his travel plan.
"As we're pushing Laos for their [the Thai suspects] arrest, they're reacting, saying that if they had a chance they would hurt" Gens Prayut and Prawit, Gen Thawip alleged.
"Death threats against important people could lead to another criminal charge."
Last month, Thailand pressed Laos over the extradition of Thai fugitives accused of lese majeste.
Last week, Gen Prayut said he cared more about the country than his life. Gen Prawit told reporters on Monday he was not worried about the threats and did not need more bodyguards.
A Thai political analyst said the dissidents in Laos appeared to be frustrated and powerless to do anything.
"It's all talk. It's all they can do to vent," said Kan Yuenyong, executive director of Siam Intelligence Unit think-tank.
"I doubt they can do much at all in the current situation."
The Thai government has asked seven countries, including Laos, to extradite a total of 19 suspects accused of lese majeste.
Communist Laos has made no public comment on the case.
Thailand thanked Laos for blocking a social media channel critical of the monarchy late last year, but the channel has since resumed