Anti-coup movement to have office next month: Jakrapob
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Anti-coup movement to have office next month: Jakrapob

HONG KONG - The anti-coup movement, the Organisation of Free Thais for Human Rights and Democracy (FT-HD), will establish an official base in a Western country by next month, Jakrapob Penkair said on Thursday.

Jakrapob Penkai speaks during talks on the future of Thai politics at the Foreign Correspondents' Club in Hong Kong on Thursday. (AFP photo)

"We have not made a final decision on the place where the headquarters will be, but we have been in talks with more than five countries, all in the Western hemisphere," the fugitive red shirt co-leader told the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents' Club.

There had been speculation the group might be based in Hong Kong or Cambodia, but Mr Jakrapob ruled out an Asia headquarters.

"It's not to say the West is superior, but it is more established, it's more well aware of the tricks and the games being played in Thailand now," he said.

"I believe that by July we should be able to say where this office will be," he added, saying it would be clearly visible and open to the public.

"We have to work from outside ... but eventually changes must be made from inside, that's what we're working towards," he said.

Charupong Ruangsuwan announced the setting up of the movement opposing the coup on Tuesday to press for the quick return of democracy to Thailand.

Mr Jakrapob said former premier Thaksin Shinawatra had not joined the group.

The Pheu Thai Party has dismissed connections with the movement since its former leader unveiled the plan and said it supported the junta to restore peace and order in the country.

The NCPO on Wednesday set up five panels chaired by NCPO deputy chief Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew to monitor content in all branches of the media to prevent the press from becoming tools to distribute false information stirring up violence and provoking public hatred against the monarchy.

NCPO deputy spokesman Winthai Suwaree on Thursday defended the move, saying it will not curb the right to know of the public as the panels would only try to end groundless information and rumours issued by the media.

Asked about the FT-HD coverage, Col Winthai said the decision to report on the movement rested with the media as the junta would not deploy measures to pressure the press.

The NCPO was not placing any importance on the group as it was more concerned about tackling the country's problems, he said, reiterating that other countries should not support the movement.

Mr Charupong faces an arrest warrant for failing to report to the coup-makers after the coup. His whereabouts is unknown.

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