Future Forward renews reform push after mass shooting spree
The Future Forward Party (FFP) is drumming up public support for its renewed call to push for military reforms in the wake of last Saturday's mass shooting in Nakhon Ratchasima, which was allegedly motivated by "unfairness".
Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit said on Friday that an event called "From Korat [Nakhon Ratchasima] to armed forces reform" will be held from 4.30pm on Saturday at the Oct 14, 1973 memorial on Ratchadamnoen Avenue.
Mr Thanathorn rejected claims that he and his party were using the tragedy as a tool to attack the army with the aim of gaining political benefits.
"This event is not for our political gains or to attack the armed forces. We simply want to urge dialogue on how to protect the rights of low-ranking soldiers and ensure fairness," he said.
At today's forum, Lt Col Phongsakon Rotchomphu and Wirot Lakkhana-adison, both FFP's list MPs, will pinpoint what in the army's structure causes unfairness and what may have prompted last Saturday's violence, Mr Thanathorn said.
In another development, army commander Apirat Kongsompong ordered 2nd Army commander Lt Gen Thanya Kiattisan to conduct a "straightforward" and speedy investigation into the mass shooting, a source said.
Alongside this investigation, two working teams have been told to look into soldiers' welfare provisions and businesses run within the barracks as well as take action against personnel found to be involved in dishonest deals, the source added.
Maj Gen Rachit Arunrangsi, chief of the Army Welfare Department, and Lt Gen Ayut Siwiset, chief of the Directorate of Personnel, are in charge of the two panels, the source said.
The army chief has also threatened to suspend any business-oriented army projects that are found to have irregularities, the source said. Gen Apirat has been given a report on the 40 or so businesses that will be scrutinised, the source added.
A call centre will also be set up to receive complaints of unfairness from low-ranking officers, the source said.