No special instructions needed to contain protest says Prayut

The government is not in conflict with any group and no special instructions have been given to security officials in regards to ongoing protests, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha said after the cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Protestors are scheduled to gather in front of parliament at 4 p.m. on Thursday (September 24) to listen to parliament’s decision on the ammendment of the constitution through the petitions submitted by different political parties.

The rewriting of the constitution is part of the protestors’ three demands for the government. The other demands include the dissolution of parliament to make way for a new election and for Prime Minister Prayut’s administration to stop harassing dissidents and investigate those that have gone missing.

More than 100,000 protestors gathered at Sanam Luang over the weekend calling for these three demands. They also asked to lower the monarchy’s power.

Prayut said he has never given any special instruction to security officers in regards to previous rallies nor the upcoming one on September 24 as the matter is up to the officers to follow the law.

“I do not want to see any more conflict and the government is not in conflict with anyone,” he said. “All I have told the security officers in the past is for them to be patient, tolerant and selfless.”

Prayut added that protestors should be considerate with their actions to make sure that they do not affect the entire population as a whole because that would damage the country’s opportunity to prosper.

“No one will win or lose but the consequences are that our nation will be damaged. I am more worried about that,” he said.

He also said that the extension of the State of Emergency (SOE) decree will be based on the coronavirus outbreak situation in the country and abroad. 

Critics said the government is only prolonging the decree in order to use it to suppress protestors when needed as only one case of coronavirus infection was found locally in the past three months. 

“The law from the Ministry of Public Health (the Communicable Diseases Act) is not enough to prevent an outbreak, especially in terms of entering and leaving the country,” he said.

Currently, the emergency decree has been in effect since March 26 and it has been extended four times already. The latest extension will last until the end of September; if extended again, the SOE could last until the end of October. 


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