PM: Who is financing student rallies?

PM: Who is financing student rallies?

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha answers reporters' questions after the cabinet meeting at Government House in Bangkok on Thursday. (Screenshot from Government House's Facebook page)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha answers reporters' questions after the cabinet meeting at Government House in Bangkok on Thursday. (Screenshot from Government House's Facebook page)

Officials are looking into the financing behind recent student demonstrations, as their activities would seem to cost a lot, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Thursday.

Speaking after the cabinet meeting on Thursday, Gen Prayut said there were a lot of activities, and they would cost money.

Officials were looking into just who was paying the bills.

"These activities cost a lot. Where does the money come from? This must be checked out thoroughly. This is normal procedure. I do not have to order it done," the prime minister said.

"Please try not to exploit the situation and cause national disorder... Facts must be determined. Is there anyone behind it? Were the demonstrators acting within their rights? Did they violate laws?" 

Most people did not condone the government sparing people whose activities break the law from legal action, the prime minister said.

The demands made by the demonstrators did not address all the problems of the people, he said.

"There are many economic, Covid and health problems, as well as income inequality. Are these more important? Over 60 million people in the country are suffering because of these problems," Gen Prayut said.

The prime minister urged young demonstrators to voice constructive opinions. That, he said, would lead to solutions in the future.

He shrugged off the opinions of the 105 academics who supported the students' anti-government rallies, saying they were not the majority of local and capable academics.

The 105 academics' action did not surprise him, because it was consistent with their past stance.

"It is important to refrain from offences. That is not Thailand... At this time it is too dangerous, and unacceptable to most people," Gen Prayut said.

However, he promised to solve problems peacefully.


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