Prayuth to broadcast ‘happiness’
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Prayuth to broadcast ‘happiness’

JUNTA'S message to be spread each friday

Coup leader Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha will give broadcasts across all television and radio stations every Friday in a programme called Returning Happiness to the People.

Gen Prayuth will be the key speaker and will talk about the work done by junta over the previous week and clarify issues in the public interest, according to Col Sirichan Ngathong, the deputy National Council for Peace and Order spokeswoman.

Gen Prayuth will not answer questions from the public, and radio and television stations will be compelled to air the programme. The first programme was broadcast on Friday. In it, Gen Prayuth explained the reasons for seizing power from the caretaker government of Yingluck Shinawatra on May 22.

He also outlined the NCPO's road map for the country’s administration and urged cooperation from all sides to end the political deadlock.

Gen Prayuth laid out three steps toward restoring a fully elected government: forming an interim government before October, establishing a national assembly to carry out national reforms, and holding a national election. The process would take about a year and a half. However, NCPO spokesman Col Winthai Suvaree said the timeline can be adjusted if the situation improves.

“If peace cannot be acquired in the first period, the work towards the other steps will be difficult to achieve," Col Winthai said.

He said military officers will enforce the law to control any groups who try to violate the NCPO’s orders, especially those involved in anti-coup rallies and those speaking negatively about the junta through the media.

He cautioned against opposition groups as the police had issued 14 arrest warrants for anti-coup rally leaders over the past few days. One person was arrested on Friday.

Col Winthai said some people had yet to report to the NCPO. Over the past week, the NCPO had talked to several people provide them with a better understanding of the situation, asking them to put the national interest above personal gain. Many of them now understood it, he said.

The Nation reporter Pravit Rojanapruek was released yesterday after he turned himself over to the NCPO on Wednesday.

Col Winthai also discouraged the public from wearing camouflage outfits similar to a soldier's uniform.

He said civilians dressed in military fatigues and acting improperly in public were having a negative effect on the army's image. Members of the People's Democratic Reform Committee were wearing fatigues in photographs that were widely shared on social media.

He urged civilians to avoid army-style uniforms to prevent mistakes.

“The NCPO is ready to adjust its orders for each area for the public’s safety and in order to ensure a return to a normal climate in Thai society," he said.

Col Winthai said he hoped other countries would understand the situation in Thailand had reached crisis point and forced the army to temporarily seize power from the government.

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