Prayut: Foreigners won't heed truth about Thailand

Prayut: Foreigners won't heed truth about Thailand

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha waves as he arrives for a working dinner on nuclear security threat perceptions at the White House, Washington DC, on March 31. (Government House photo)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha waves as he arrives for a working dinner on nuclear security threat perceptions at the White House, Washington DC, on March 31. (Government House photo)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has complained that many countries pay no attention to what really happened in Thailand and why he became the prime minister, but instead listen to an outlaw and liar who had fled the country.

He expressed the complaint in an interview with the Voice of America's Thai service in Washington DC on March 31. He was attending the Nuclear Security Summit there from March 31 and April 1.

Gen Prayut said he had no concerns about the domestic situation because laws were being enforced transparently, but he was worried about the perceptions other countries have of Thailand.

Gen Prayut said he has met representatives of many countries and has answered their questions.

They mentioned only democracy, elections and human rights, and did not bother to ask what had happened in Thailand and why he had to take power, Gen Prayut said.

He always informed them of the reasons, but they paid no attention.

They were interested only in human rights because someone told them that the government killed people, including 400-500 reporters, jailed thousands of other people and covered people's heads with black bags, all of which he never did, Gen Prayut said.

The person who told these stories was a man who had fled the country and spoke negatively about it, he said. He asked if it could be that the man had fled the country because he had broken the law.

He did not name the man, but observers said it was clearly a reference to former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

In 2008, the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions sentenced Thaksin to two years in jail for helping his ex-wife buy a plot of land in the Ratchada area, Bangkok, from the state at a discounted rate. The former prime minister, however, escaped abroad and has lived in self-exile ever since.

Gen Prayut also said his government was trying to implement solutions to prevent corrupt people from returning to power by corrupting the poor. These people had damaged the nation and would not admit their guilt, he said.

The prime minister gave an assurance there would be a general election in the middle of next year, and that he would not put a proxy in as prime minister to prolong his grip on power.



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