PM delivers unity message to children

PM delivers unity message to children

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha took time out from politics on Saturday to greet children at Government House and deliver a message of unity to his young visitors.

Chatchai Thongprasee of Sri Sangwal school in Nonthaburi is the first to sit in the prime minister's chair at Government House on Saturday. (Photos by Patipat Janthong)

In his speech on Children's Day at his office, Gen Prayut stressed unity and the 12 core values he has been promoting. He said children had a role to play in the country as they could not allow anybody to divide the country when the government was trying to heal rifts through reforms.

"We are living in the same country. What we must have is unity," he said. "Adults might have a quarrel, but they should not bring any problems to children."

Schools were the places parents should send children, not conflict areas, he added.

The prime minister sang a few songs at Government House, including 12 Core Values and Jong Rak, and used a hand puppet of the Frog Prince to draw laughs from children and parents while delivering his speech.

Government House and the Prime Minister's Office are open for children every year on their special day, but they were not on top of this year's wish list for young people.

A Bangkok Poll released on Saturday showed amusement parks were their favourite places to visit with 34% of respondents, followed by museums or the planetarium in Ekkamai with 13.7%. Only 4% said they wanted to visit Government House.

Bangkok University carried out the survey from Jan 7-9, interviewing 1,210 children aged 6-10 who lived in Bangkok and provinces around the capital.

A military career was the top choice of children as 14% said they wanted to be soldiers when they grew up, followed by 12% who wanted to be teachers, and 9% who wanted to be doctors.

Elsewhere, rain spoiled activities in many provinces including Nakhon Pathom, Phitsanulok, Nan and Phayao where showers fell since Saturday morning. The weather prompted some parents to cut short their plans to return home, and some local government offices ended their activities earlier but many decided to carry on with their plans.

The most popular places for children upcountry were military camps where soldiers demonstrated equipment, and provincial halls where governors opened the offices for youngsters to visit.

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