BANGKOK – Prime Minister Gen.Prayut Chan-o-cha said the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) would strictly enforce martial law measures, ban overseas trips and check the financial transactions of inciters unless they stopped their movements against NCPO’s reconciliation process.
He expressed his stance as the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) summoned 4 key Pheu Thai Party members to create better understanding.
The four men are Surapong Tovichakchaikul, former Minister of Foreign Affairs; Nattawut Saikua, former Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives; Chaturon Chaisaeng, former Minister of Education; and Pichai Naripthaphan, former Minister of Energy.
The prime minister said he did not know whether security authorities would detail Mr Surapong overnight.
Mr Surapong was summoned because he shared improper opinions and challenged the government and the martial law and the government needed to take legal action to prevent disorder, Gen Prayut said.
The prime minister said former Pheu Thai energy minister Pichai Naripthaphan would also be summoned for mutual understanding for criticizing the energy policies of the government although he had done nothing during his past tenure as the energy minister.
“If their movements continue, they will be prohibited from leaving the country, have their finances examined and be banned from conducting financial transactions. The imposition of martial law has been relaxed until now but from now on it will be intensified to cope with national situations,” the prime minister said.
He also said that authorities were monitoring the red-shirt people’s campaign to wear red on Sundays and that present political situations were annoying.
Meanwhile the Khoasod reported that Gen Prayut responded to a reporter who asked whether anyone who publicly comments on the political situation in Thailand will be summoned for “attitude readjustment,” Gen. Prayuth shot back, “Is it the right thing to say those things? Is it appropriate to say them in this time? That’s all. You keep making this a big issue with your questions.”
When the reporter pressed Gen. Prayuth to answer, the junta chairman launched into an angry rant.
“You will be summoned too, if you keep asking many questions like this,” he said. “You ask unconstructive questions. I want to ask you, is it a right thing to do, challenging my full power? Even though I have such full power, these people still challenge it like this. If there’s no martial law, what’s going to happen? You all know the answer. Do you want it to happen?”
He continued, “I know that the media wants it to happen, so that they can sell news … I am [the head of] the government. I have full power. Is it the right thing to challenge it like this? I have relaxed my power too much already these days.”
Responding to a reporter who noted that the NCPO seems to be intensifying its crackdown on criticism, Gen. Prayuth shouted, “So what? So what? In the past, you said I was incompetent. Now that I am intensifying, you are angry. What the hell do you want me to do?”
Swiftly changing the topic, the junta chairman also scolded the media for publishing a photo of him inadvertently pointing his middle finger.
“I am not mad on power. You don’t understand it. You keep picking on me,” Gen. Prayuth said. “Yesterday, for instance. How can you photograph me like that? I was pointing my finger. You bastard. You chose to photograph me pointing my finger. This is what they call a lowly mind.”