BANGKOK – Thai Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha has criticized Thai television soap operas for promoting violence and divisions in society, and said he would write them himself if he had to.
“I have ordered that scripts be written, including plays on reconciliation, on tourism and on Thai culture”, he told reporters on Friday.
“They are writing plots at the moment and if they can’t finish it I will write it myself”, he said of a team of government-appointed writers.
The military government has ruled unchallenged since taking over and has cracked down on pro-democracy dissidents and supporters of the ousted government of Yingluck Shinawatra.
It has even warned academics that debate that might “cause misunderstanding” would not be tolerated.
Prayuth slammed hugely popular television soap operas which he said encouraged violence rather than peace.
“In our country, television dramas make people fight and they create divisions so we have much improvement to make in this area”, he said.
“I have ordered that scripts be written,” he said. “One plot will be two foreign families come to visit Thailand, they meet each other and come to love each other.”
It is not the first time Prayuth has shown an interest in the arts.
The straight-talking general also penned lyrics to a patriotic ballad – “Return Happiness to Thailand” – which is played by radio and television stations around the country.
Prayuth, who is also army chief, staged a coup on May 22, overthrowing an elected government after six months of at times violent anti-government protests.
Reporting by Pracha Hariraksapitak; Writing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre