Interior Minister asserts respect for rights of individuals summoned for ‘attitudinal discussions’


BANGKOK, Feb 10 – Thailand’s government and its National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has not infringed on the rights of any individual summoned for attitudinal discussions, said Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paojinda.

He also said that the martial law was enforced only to the necessary extent as the new constitution was being drafted to pave the way for the next general election.

Gen Anupong responded to the statement of Rupert Abbott, Amnesty International’s Research Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, who said he was concerned by soldiers’ efforts to expand their detention authority.

The minister said that depended on different perspectives but that and the NCPO did not violate people’s rights. It took action only to ensure national peace and order.

“I assert that soldiers are not increasing their own power,’ he said. “They have not issued any additional regulation and martial law is exercised only when it is necessary,” the interior minister said.

“The demonstration against the prime minister in Japan showed different opinions that we must listen to, but the overall situation in the country must be considered too,”  he added.

Gen Anupong said that all Thai people hoped for true democracy and said that it was not different from the demand of the United States. He said that the democracy would have to be sustainable and have legal foundations.

The new constitution would lead to an election and true democracy, he said.

The interior minister said that the NCPO and the government were determined to follow their national reform roadmap to introduce true democracy in Thailand.