BANGKOK– Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, also head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), has urged foreign countries to better their understanding of Thailand following the May 22 bloodless coup which had toppled the elected, civilian government.
In a nationally broadcast TV address late on Friday, Gen Prayuth said several foreign countries still misunderstood the kingdom, and he wished others would have a better understanding as Thais “need time to build the country, creating a democratic system which would help Thais to become more disciplined and truly understand the democratic system.”
Gen Prayuth said he hoped every country would understand attempts being undertaken by the military to rebuild the country with good governance in administrative work under His Majesty the King’s royal initiative on “Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy.”
His remarks were made after Australia, the US and the European Union expressed disappointment over the military coup and subsequently cut military aid to Thailand.
Promising that the military would do what it had promised, Gen Prayuth went on to say that political conflicts in Thailand had continued for nine consecutive years and became more severe in the past six months.
He said that martial law was still needed in order to make people respect the law. But martial law would be enforced only where necessary, while every sector has to join forces in solving problems so that the country could return to the democratic system, Gen Prayuth said.
Security is vital and everybody has to play a role, he said. It is not only the responsibility of the military and police.
After it is achieved, relations with neighbouring countries, especially with fellow members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), would strengthen.
In a related development, the NCPO has lifted the curfew in additional tourist destinations i.e. Phetchaburi’s Cha-am district, Prachuap Khiri Khan’s Hua Hin district, Krabi, and Phang-nga.
The curfew between midnight to 4am and other areas was still intact.
The NCPO earlier cancelled the curfew in Chon Buri’s Pattaya, Ko Samui in Surat Thani and in all of Phuket.