Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has asked anti-government demonstrators to suspend their activities until the coronavirus disease 2019 crisis to end, warning their early movements could result in the disease spreading and failure to help the economy.
The prime minister sent his message through TV Pool in the evening as anti-government demonstrators planned to rally at the ThaPrachan campus of Thammasat University on Sept 19.
“When you gather in mobs you are creating an enormous risk of new infections. And with that, you also create enormous risk to the livelihoods of tens of millions of fellow Thais. Any major flare up of infections will lead to terrible consequences and even worse economic destruction, the likes of which we have never seen. Please think about this,” Gen Prayut said.
He said that he was aware of demonstrators’ messages and concerns about politics and the constitution.
“But right now, our country has some very much more immediately painful issues that it must be addressed and that is the economic destruction brought about by Covid. Let’s not make the situation worse than it is. Your protests delay economic recovery because you affect business confidence, and you affect the confidence of tourists to return to our country when we are ready to receive them,” the prime minister said.
“We should not create a situation that puts our country at risk of returning to lockdowns as we had in March and April this year, and even further increase the terrible pain of other people during this time.”
“Let’s try and get through this global crisis, and defeat Covid first, together. And then we can come back to politics, again,” Gen Prayut said. He also said that he ordered security officials to deal gently with demonstrators. (TNA)