Thailand’s opposition warned against debating Myanmar warplane incursion

Government chief whip Nirote Sunthornlekha has warned the opposition that the plan by some of its MPs to question the government over last week’s incursion by a Myanmar MiG-29 jet into Thai airspace, over Tak province, may undermine the country’s national security, which could be deemed a criminal offence.

Calling the plan nonsensical, he said today (Monday) that the incident is not a big deal and that the Thai government has already protested through diplomatic channels and that the incident has not damaged the relationship between the two neighbours.

He said he doubts whether the opposition wants Thailand to declare war on Myanmar over the incident.

The Myanmar government has already offered an apology, claiming that the incursion was unintentional. The opposition, however, wants the Thai government to get tough with Myanmar.

Meanwhile, opposition chief whip Sutin Klungsang said today that they will insist, at a meeting on Wednesday between the whips for both sides of the House, that the censure debate against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and ten of his cabinet members will last five days, plus a sixth day for voting.

He said that opposition MPs will not repetitively debate the issues, adding that there is a parliamentary regulation to control duplication of debate, which can be invoked as and when required.

The Pheu Thai MP said that, if the censure debate takes six days, including the voting, it only means that both the opposition and government MPs may have to work on a weekend, which should not be a problem.

The government’s chief whip has previously stated, however,that the government wants the debate to commence on July19th and voting to take place on July 23rd. He insisted that four days for debate and one day for the vote should suffice.

The July censure debate will be the fourth such debate against the second Prayut Chan-o-cha administration. The prime minister and all the ministered being targeted survived all the previous no confidence motions.


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