Thai media should not report news on Thaksin Shinawatra while authorities are trying hard to keep the country in order, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha suggested on Monday.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha answers reporters' questions at Government House on Monday. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
Gen Prayut was responding to rivalling political groups threatening to take to the streets if the National Legislative Assembly begins the process of impeaching former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, ex-parliament speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont and former senate speaker Nikhom Wairatpanich.
One side supports the impeachment while the other opposes it.
Mrs Yingluck was accused of dereliction of duty when she failed to stop her loss-ridden rice-pledging scheme. Mr Somsak and Mr Nikhom were charged with malfeasance when they proceeded with the motion to amend the constitution so that Thailand has a fully elected Senate.
Gen Prayut said on Monday authorities had talked to these groups of people. They had said then they understood the situation but they may cause problems now.
Therefore, other measures are needed to keep the situation calm, he said.
Asked about the possibility of people taking to the streets again, the prime minister said gatherings were banned and political fights would only bring back the deadlock his government was trying to solve for the good of the nation.
"Don't exchange threats because they'll never come true. If incitement results in conflicts among groups and between the government and people, how can the country move forward? Everyone wants the country to be in order," Gen Prayut said.
The prime minister said a favourable political climate would support tourism and development.
Asked if reports about ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's moves could incite his supporters in the country, Gen Prayut said: "Then the media shouldn't report it. Don't publish the pictures of those who broke the law. That's all."
Thaksin's government was toppled in a coup in 2006 amidst corruption allegations and growing movements of proponent and opponent groups.
After the coup, investigation into alleged corruption in his government led to prosecution against him.
The former prime minister left Thailand in 2008 shortly before the Supreme Court announced its two-year jail term against him for having a conflict of interest when his ex-wife bought an inner Bangkok land plot from a state agency in an auction over a decade ago.