PM Prayut calls for unity to 'keep peace'
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has called for national unity in a Songkran message, saying that it is important to work together to maintain peace and steer the country toward democracy.
Speaking at Government House, Gen Prayut said Thais must unite to create a peaceful atmosphere so the country can move towards democracy, which in turn will help the country regain the confidence of investors and the international community.
"Don't forget that the more problems we create, the more impact there will be on the economy. Everyone must work together to reduce conflict and learn to forgive and put problems behind us during Songkran," the prime minister said.
Gen Prayut said the government has been concerned about low-income earners, as well as rice farmers, rubber, oil palm, and cassava growers who have been hit by falling prices.
He said he has closely monitored crop prices and ordered state agencies to expedite efforts to try and solve the problem.
He said the government has given priority to looking after low-incomer earners, and that the government will find ways to seek revenue to help them.
He also said this year's Songkran, the traditional Thai New Year, is a special occasion as it coincides with preliminary preparations for the coronation of His Majesty the King, which is scheduled to take place from May 4 to 6.
Gen Prayut also called on people to help preserve Thai culture during Songkran, adding he has instructed authorities to ensure road safety for people travelling during the festival.
Drivers and travellers should avoid drinking alcohol that could lead to accidents, the prime minister said.
Gen Prayut also wished all Thais a happy Songkran. "May unity prevail among Thais. Songkran is a happy time. I wish you all a safe journey home so you can spend time with your families happily,'' he said.