BANGKOK, May 20– Army Chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha said the Peace and Order Maintaining Command (POMC) planned to invite political rivals for talks to find a way out of crisis, asserting it will give fairness to all groups.
Gen Prayuth, as chief of POMC, chaired a press briefing after meeting with all heads of government agencies and state enterprises, provincial governors and representatives of professional organisations and social organisations at the Army Sports Club on Vibhavadi Road.
Gen Prayuth stressed that invoking martial law was aimed at resolving the political conflict by using legal means to bring back peace and order to the country and seek a way out of the political deadlock and crisis without pressure from any group.
He said the POMC has planned to invite the rival political groups– the pro-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) group and the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) group— for talks to find a mutual way to end crisis.
He vowed to be fair to all parties.
Gen Prayuth also told government officials and staff to work as usual. He asserted that there would be no human rights violations and would not intervene in the government’s work.
He apologised for the order to halt broadcasts of some cable and satellite television stations but said he had to do so to prevent the expansion of political conflicts.
Asked whether martial law would eventually lead to a coup, Gen Prayuth gave no answer.
Gen Prayuth did not set a time frame for martial law enforcement but said martial law would continue until the situation returns to normal, and that a general election would be held when the conflict has ended.