Prawit favours 're-education' for 'unruly' politicians

Prawit favours 're-education' for 'unruly' politicians

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said he will propose that the National Council for Peace and Order arrange a special course to "re-educate" politicians who were invited for "attitude adjustment" but continued their "unruly" behaviour.

Gen Prawit said this before attending a meeting of the Defence Council on Monday morning.

He was apparently referring to Watana Muangsook, a core member of the Pheu Thai Party and former social development and human security minister in the Thaksin Shinawatra government, and Worachai Hema, a former Pheu Thai MP for Samut Prakan.

Mr Worachai was reportedly taken from his home in Samut Prakan province on Saturday to the 11th Army Circle for "attitude adjustment" after saying on his Facebook page that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha should take responsibility if the new draft charter fails to pass a public referendum.

Mr Watana posted on his Facebook page on Monday morning that four truckloads of soldiers had arrived at his home about 5.30pm on Sunday to take him for questioning after he posted an article criticising the NCPO's actions against Mr Worachai.

Mr Watana said since he was not at home at the time he had sent a message to the soldiers that he would report to the 11th Army Circle on Monday at 11am, because he has to appear at the Bangkok South Criminal Court at 8.30am.

Despite his message, the soldiers remained at his house throughout the night and he had to spend the night at a friend's house, Mr Watana said in his Facebook post.

When asked, Gen Prawit said he did not know how long the two politicians would be in military custody, adding that the matter rested with the NCPO.

"They know what they have said. The NCPO has already asked for their cooperation because it needs the time to concentrate on its work. There will soon be an election," he said.

Gen Prawit said he would ask the NCPO to arrange a course, which may last three, five or seven days, to re-educate those politicians who refused to cooperate after having been invited for "attitude adjustment".

He insisted this would not be a violation of anybody's rights. Politicians should be aware of what they had done.

"The draft charter is nearly ready.  We are approaching the public referendum stage. The NCPO knows what they have been doing," Gen Prawit said.

"Tell me what I should do. We have given them a warning, but they do not heed it. They don't even listen to me," he said.

Col Withai Suwaree, the NCPO spokesman, said the NCPO had to invite Mr Watana to the 11th Army Circle today because he had posted a message on social media showing a personal grudge against the NCPO.

"In the message, Mr Watana was trying to portray a negative image of the NCPO, to say the NCPO is not doing anything good. We believe people in society know what his true intentions are,"  the spokesman said.

Col Winthai said Mr Watana had not cooperated with the authorities and tried to make it difficult for those in charge of security to do their jobs. "We believe Mr Watana knew what the consequences of his action would be," he added.

He said the authorities had treated Mr Watana with due honour and did not want him to cause further "misunderstanding" in society. 

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