Gen Prayuth says overseas have better understanding of situation in Thailand


BANGKOK, June 14 — Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha  has said a number of foreign countries have started to understand Thailand better, about three weeks after the military seized power in the country.

Speaking during a televised address late Friday, Gen Prayuth, leader of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) which took over the country in the May 22 bloodless coup, said the attitude of friendly countries has gradually improved and they are understanding Thailand better.

This could be seen from an official visit to China by the permanent secretary of Defence  and the visit to Australia by Justice Ministry officials, he said, adding that the NCPO is preparing to invite the US and Japanese officials for discussions soon.

Gen Prayuth said he had recently ordered 23 Thai diplomats during a recent meeting in Bangkok to inform other nations why the NCPO decided to take over the country and that it would continue to cherish their presence in the kingdom.

Urging Thais to extend their morale to the NCPO, Gen Prayuth reiterated that he expected an interim prime minister could be appointed this September in order to drive the country forward while the cabinet could be set up in October.

Gen Prayuth said he was informed by the National Economic and Social Development Board that Thailand’s consumer confidence index has started improving.

As the overall situation in the country has improved and the NCPO also wants to boost domestic tourism, Gen Prayuth said the four-hour curfew which lasted from midnight to 4am daily and was imposed following the coup would be lifted nationwide, effective immediately.