NCPO: Pichai being held for 'attitude adjustment'

NCPO: Pichai being held for 'attitude adjustment'

Former energy minister and Pheu Thai member Pichai Naripthaphan was being held in military custody for another "exchange of views" because he had breached conditions set earlier by the NCPO, regime spokesman Winthai Su­va­ree confirmed Thursday.

Three soldiers on Wednesday "invited" the Pheu Thai economic team member in for attitude adjustment at Army Region 1 on Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue.

Mr Pichai has criticised the regime’s economic performance and problem handling on several occasions, and in particular after the National Reform Council shot down the draft constitution, resulting in elections being put off for another 20 months.  

Pichai Naripthaphan

Local media quoted a source at the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) as saying Mr Pichai might have been taken to a military camp in Saraburi for his seventh attitude adjustment session. He would remain in detention for seven days, the source said.

Col Winthai said the latest invitation was needed to create a mutual understanding and for an exchange of views, because the former minister had recently not complied with the terms and conditions of cooperation asked for by the NCPO.

There also seemed to be a deliberate attempt to continue to discredit the government by expressing his personal opinions and making allegations based on incomplete information. 

Mr Pichai yesterday asserted that he had merely stated the truth and that as a citizen he had the right to worry about his country.     

Col Winthai said authorities would try to achieve an understanding with Mr Pichai. How long the process would take depended on his cooperation and was at the discretion of the officials concerned. 

The NCPO spokesman did not disclose Mr Pichai’s whereabouts.

Pheu Thai members on Thursday called on the military regime to release their colleague. 

Former education minister Chaturon Chaisaeng, whose passport was revoked by the NCPO last week, said that in restraining Mr Pichai’s freedom the government showed it did not want to listen to different opinions, nor want the public to hear diverse views. 

Acting Pheu Thai secretary-general Phumtham Vejjayachai urged the NCPO to release Mr Pichai and allow him to fully participate in and give useful suggestions in solving the country's economic problems, in the best interests of the country.  

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