Thai crisis: Army chief urges talks and peace — Thailand army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha on Monday strongly urged all parties involved in the ongoing political crisis to enter into talks to end the conflict, and maintained the military’s desire to remain impartial, according to previous Thailand news today report.
Following a spate of bombings over the past four days targeting rally sites of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), including a lethal attack on a rally in Trat on Saturday and a fatal grenade explosion at Ratchaprasong in the heart of Bangkok on Sunday, Gen Prayuth appeared on (Thailand news today) the army-run television station to make his position clear.
”I strongly hope to see the problem resolved by peaceful means and to see no more conflict,” Gen Prayuth said in a statement read out on the television station.
”What will be urgently undertaken is to see that all sides hold talks” to prevent further violence that would severely damage the country, he said.
His statement comes amid worrying signs of mounting political violence, with some speculating that the army might decide to intervene after standing back and watching the police ineffectively enforce the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order’s attempts to ensure security.
But Gen Prayuth made it clear that the military option is not a solution to the ongoing crisis, and it could prove to be a setback as violence might increase if there was military intervention, according to reports.
”If we use the wrong means, or the full use of military force, how can we ensure that the situation will end peacefully?” the chief said.
”The army is never afraid of performing our duty but we are concerned about more losses and injuries to people because many sides do not understand and oppose the army,” he said.
He said the army, police and civil servants are not taking sides in the conflict and that the army would not sit idly by and watch the attackers walk free.
He urged the caretaker government to take quick action against those responsible for the attacks, and warned that the current situation was more complicated than the red-shirt protest rally in 2010 because of the many factions now involved.
Gen Prayuth also said there is a link between the ongoing violence and the 2010 protest rally, and that more evidence and information was being gathered to verify this.
He did not elaborate on this comment, but he was evidently referring to the “men in black” who launched lethal attacks against soldiers and supporters of the Democrat Party-led government at the time of the 2010 protests. Thailand News today Image/