Army chief warns protesters not to ‘cross the line’ in their demonstrations

Army Chief Apirat Kongsompong told reporters on Friday that student protesters should not cross the line when expressing their opinions and remember that they still live in Thai society.

Apirat and the army have been singled out by the student protesters in demonstrations held across the country as one of the problems within Thai society.

The students called on the army to stop interfering in politics and called on the government to defund the military which they say spends too much money at a time when the economy is already struggling from the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday, Apirat told reporters that even though he respected the rights of the demonstrators to express their views in a democratic society, the students should not cross the line with their criticisms.

“They are still living in a Thai society under the influence of the institution and should not be rude or vulgar when criticizing their elders,” he told reporters.

Apirat has previously railed against opposition politicians from the Future Forward Party, comparing them to the communists of the 1970s and 80s.

The ultra-royalist general has said that he would do anything to protect Thailand’s system of monarchy and said previously that anyone looking to topple the royal institution was an enemy of the state.

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