Thai Junta to summon people to 'boost understanding'

Thai Junta to summon people to 'boost understanding'

The authorities are considering summoning some politicians and activists to help adjust their perception of the junta's intentions, Deputy Defence Minister General Udomdej Sitabutr said yesterday. Asked if individuals such as former Pheu Thai MP Worachai Hema and former Democrat MP Thaworn Senneam, would be summoned, Udomdej said he was considering it.

Both former MPs have been quite vocal about the work of National Legislative Assembly.

Udomdej, who is also Army chief, said if given the chance he would instruct his commanders to talk to the ex-MPs to help them have a better understanding of the government's work.

"I believe everybody wants the country to move forward, but they may want it in accordance with their different opinions. However, I think our officials are capable enough to handle this," Udomdej told reporters.

The army chief said there was a small movement against the junta, but it was not strong enough for the authorities to be worried about.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had a clear policy, wanting them to have a better understanding via consultation, he said.

"There might be some misunderstanding about the government's work. I've already instructed military personnel on the ground to help these people have a better understanding," he said.

But it was not yet necessary for the government to exercise special powers under Article 44 to suppress those who have different ideas, he said.

"I reaffirm that the premier will not use Article 44 to exercise control. What the prime minister said just days ago was simply that [the government] wants to remind all concerned parties that the junta is still in charge and it still has the power.

"But that does not mean we will enforce the law or exercise power to handle the anti-government elements. We will talk to them to help them understand instead," he said.

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