Defiant Thanathorn shrugs off army chief’s warning

Future Forward party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit has hit back at Army Commander-in-Chief Apirat Kongsompong, saying he didn’t know what message the latter was trying to convey by branding him and those of similar views as“pretentious leftists” crying for change to Thailand’s constitutional monarchy.

He maintained that his party has been fighting for and demanding the restoration of normality and democracy inThailand and a return into the world community as a country that respects human rights and where everyone is equal under the law.

He said that General Apirat’s rhetoric would only fuel division and suspicion among the Thai people, adding that the party has been wasting a lot of time defending itself against unfounded accusations.

Regarding the accusation that the party is not loyal to the Monarchy, he said that this is the same old allegation that has often been used in attempts to destroy political rivals “which is the wish of the dictatorship, to sow the seeds of hatred and distrust among the people in order to justify a coup.”

Clarifying the incident four years ago which occasioned the sedition charge, Thanathorn admitted that he went to the Pathumwan police station between 8-9 pm on June 24th, 2015 to offer support to a group of youths held in police custody for staging a protest on the first anniversary of the May 22nd coup.

He claimed that, while leaving the police station in a passenger van, he saw one of the youths, Rangsiman Rome, walking along the pavement after being released by the police and simply offered him a ride.

About the sedition charge, the Future Forward leader said the charge was intended to discredit the party, but that he was not worried about it and was ready to face any situation, adding that the charge might also be intended to distract public attention from the alleged irregularities of the Election Commission.


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