Thai army chief decries opposition, hints at threat to monarchy

One America News Network 1 month ago

October 11, 2019

By Patpicha Tanakasempipat

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s army chief lashed out at opposition figures on Friday in an emotional speech in which he portrayed politicians and academics as threats to national security and even the monarchy.

The criticism by General Apirat Kongsompong came less than three months after direct military rule officially ended in Thailand, although the new civilian administration is led by the former army chief who overthrew the previous elected government.

Apirat described collusion between unidentified “communist” politicians and “extreme left” academics who had studied abroad, a veiled jab at members of the opposition Future Forward Party, popular with social media-savvy young people.

He said they were using social media to spread “propaganda” and brainwash and mobilise the youth, likening the situation to Hong Kong protests led by young people.

He did not identify the people he was referring to in the speech, which lasted for more than an hour, but one silhouetted picture he showed was easily recognizable as Future Forward’s charismatic leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit.

“Propaganda in Thailand is severe and worrying. There is a group of communists who still have ideas to overthrow the monarchy, to turn Thailand to communism,” Apirat told an auditorium of military officers, policemen, and uniformed students.

The monarchy is legally above reproach in Thailand, and the new constitutional monarch who was officially crowned in May, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, has taken several steps since the death of his father to increase his authority, including taking direct control of two key army units.

Last week, the military filed a sedition case against Thanathorn and others, accusing them of stirring unrest with talk of amending the 2017 constitution written by allies of the military.

It followed a public seminar they held in the Muslim-majority south, in which the first article of the constitution – stating that Thailand is one indivisible kingdom – was discussed.

“They are being shrewd, talking of amending the first article without stating directly what they want, knowing this will affect other articles about the monarchy,” Apirat said.

“This article invoked the blood our ancestors had shed to keep this land. I can tell you I will never allow it, even to my dying day,” Apirat said.

The army chief portrayed “self-serving” politicians and a “businessman born into wealth who colludes with foreigners, brainwash young people, and want to bring down the nation and the monarchy” as enemies of the state.

Meanwhile, he cast the military as loyal to the nation and the royal family.

“Don’t forget that Thailand is the only country in this region that has never been colonized, thanks to past kings,” Apirat said.

(Editing by Robert Birsel)


Source link
Read also:
The New York Times › 1 month ago
A Thai opposition party accused Thailand's army chief on Saturday of meddling in politics and instigating hatred, hitting back at his attack on opposition politicians and academics a day earlier.
One America News Network › 1 month ago
By Patpicha Tanakasempipat BANGKOK (Reuters) - A Thai opposition party accused Thailand's army chief on Saturday of meddling in politics and instigating hatred, hitting back at his attack on
Al Jazeera › 3 weeks ago
Karn Pongpraphapan denies police allegations that he threatened monarchy and hints his days as an activist may be over.
The Sun › 3 weeks ago
PRINCE Harry and Meghan Markle have “single-handedly modernised” the British monarchy, according to a source close to the couple. The insider spoke to CNN amid the fallout of comments made by the Duke of Sussex about his older brother William in...
Telegraph › 3 weeks ago
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are “single-handedly modernising the monarchy” despite officials around them being “afraid” to harness their power, their allies said, as the extraordinary fall-out from their emotional documentary continued.
Express › 2 weeks ago
MEGHAN MARKLE and Prince Harry “have single-handedly modernised the monarchy” a source close to the couple told a US TV station who also branded royal aides “inexperienced” before condemning “hysterical” comments on the pair - 48 hours...
The Sun › 2 weeks ago
BOMBSHELL claims Harry and Meghan Markle have “single-handedly modernised” the monarchy shows their level of “paranoia”, a Palace aide says. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have faced a fallout since their explosive ITV documentary Harry...
The Sun › 2 weeks ago
BUCKINGHAM Palace has slapped down claims that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have “single-handedly modernised” the monarchy, it has been revealed. The senior courtier shamed a source for voicing such comments, insisting all family issues will be...
Telegraph › 2 weeks ago
They were the photographs that aides feared would “bring the monarchy down”.
Los Angeles Times › Lifestyle › 0 month ago
Lucas Kwan Peterson and Jazz Singsanong from Thai Town's famous Thai food restaurant Jitlada head to LAX-C, a giant grocery store/warehouse full of all the food you can't find at Ralphs or Vons.
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google
OR