Thai PM says no martial law will be imposed despite ongoing protests

FILE / Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha made clear today that he will not impose martial law in Bangkok, in the wake of the frequent mass protests and the threat, by the Khana Ratsadon group, to hold protests for five days in a row.

He said that the organizers are free to announce protests, but he warned that they must seek permission first from the police,otherwise they will be dealt with according to the law.

The prime minister said that he had told delegates, attending the US-ASEAN Business Council conference today, that the protests are normal in any democracy, but protesters must abide by the law and those who violate the law must face legal action.

“In a democracy, we cannot expect everyone to agree with us, but what matters is how we can advance without problems in the future,” said the prime minister, as he complained about the traffic woes today which, he said, have caused widespread hardship for a lot of people.

Commenting on the possibility of martial law being imposed, the prime minister told the media that this issue has never crossed his mind, adding that the existing laws are adequate to cope with the situation.

“Today, we should help one another in nation building, to make the country look pleasant, but, today, there is a conflict and I will not blame anybody,” he said.

He went on to say that the barriers installed around Government House are meant for safety.

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