PM says he’s not disheartened by student protest

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KHON KAEN, Nov 19 – Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha said that he did not feel disheartened by the protest by students he encountered Wednesday during his trip to the Northeast, which is a stronghold of anti-coup movements.

Five students from Khon Kaen University wore black shirts with an anti-coup message showing a three-finger salute, a symbolic gesture showing opposition to the May 22 coup, to Gen Prayut as he was about to speak at Khon Kaen Provincial Hall to launch the campaign to assist drought victims in the region.

Speaking to reporters on the matter, Gen Prayut pointed out that disagreement could happen anytime and anywhere and said he can tolerate it as long as people expressed their disagreements and differences peacefully.

He said he does not view this as obstacle to his job and said he would try to [improve] understanding and adjust the attitude of these people.

Following their interruption, the five students were escorted out of the hall. They were reportedly taken for attitude adjustment.

The prime minister also said he will also visit the northern and the southern regions to get first hand information about problems of local people.

Gen Prayut’s trip to the Northeast was intended to inspect drought crisis management in the region. The prime minister is scheduled to return to Bangkok this evening.