Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha said, at a special parliamentary session on Tuesday night, that he would not resign despite being pressed to by opposition MPs and that pro-democracy protests against him have been enhanced by a hidden network and artificial intelligence.
The prime minister said that his continued rule was necessary to ensure peace and stability within the country.
Student-led pro-democracy protests have gripped the country for the past four months with demonstrators calling on the Prayut Chan-ocha government to resign, for the government to re-draft the military-backed charter and for the government to stop harassing dissidents.
Prayut said that online campaigns against him, which have inspired tens of thousands of people to take to the streets in protest against the government, were being manufactured and manipulated by internet hackers.
“How can posts being distributed by two hundred accounts be spread and shared to more than 50,000 accounts within hours?” he asked.
Prayut called for a parliamentary investigation into the matter.
He said that the Thai government is watching over every social media users in Thailand and categorizing them for future investigations.
“You can read, post and share but do not believe in everything that you heard. You should have the knowledge, the immune system, to screen these information by yourselves,” he said.
The prime minister said the government must be like good parents and ensure that the children receive only good information online.
The monarchy and the protests
The prime minister said that the protestors’ demand for the reformation of the monarchy has led to the current social and political conflicts.
Prayut said that he does not want the old and new generation to fight with each other because of misunderstanding and generational differences.
“I respect that every single Thai person’s voice is the voice of Thailand that I must listen to but there are both things that could be done, and cannot be done,” he said.
Prayut once again alluded to a third hand and said that there was a group of people masterminding the message of the protesters and sending out harmful messages about Thailand and the royal institution to the world.
The prime minister added that the protests was hampering the country’s economic recovery which could have recovered by the end of this year but will not because of the protests.