CHIANG RAI -Army commander-in-chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha today called on all sides to respect justice system as there is growing fear that anti-government protesters and red-shirt supporters of the caretaker government could confront and clash on April 5 when they plan simultaneous rallies in the capital.
Gen Prayuth said he wanted all sides to abide by the laws and to respect the ruling of the court of justices, and other independent organization defined in the Constitution, and have faith in the justice system of the country.
When asked about report that the Armed Force Supreme Commander Gen Tanasak Patimaprakorn has invited commanders-in-chief of the three armed forces and the police chief for a meeting Wednesday to assess the situation prior to the mass rallies of both groups, Gen Prayuth said he has not been told of the invitation yet.
But he said normally the military top brass have frequent meeting to discuss the situation.
However, he said that if the situation warrants, they might hold a meeting to discuss the situation.
Gen Prayuth said as far as he knows, the rally on April will be normal and peaceful while soldiers have the duty to keep peace and ensure safety for the people of all sides.
He said some certain group did not understand and did not want soldiers to come out to perform their duties.
Asked by reporter if the Army will declare martial law to maintain peace and order on that day, Gen Prayuth declined comment, saying briefly that it has not yet happened and no none should anticipate it to happen.
Earlier there was a report that Armed Forces Supreme Commander General Tanasak Patimapragorn has invited top military commanders – Army chief General Prayuth, Navy chief Adm Narong Pipatanasai, and Air Force chief ACM Prajin Chantong – for a meeting with him.
The Supreme Commander felt that if the political deadlock was allowed to continue further, more damage would be done to the country, according to the source, who said the number of tourist arrivals had greatly declined.
This move by the military was not aimed at pressuring any side in particular, but intended to find a way out for the country, according to a source, who is a senior officer in the armed forces.
The source ruled out any chance of a coup, saying it would not be a “perfect way” to solve the problems and that the military had learned lessons from the past.
The red shirts plan their rally on Saturday, a week after the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee held its mass marches in Bangkok.