Thailand’s political situation explained at Singapore Dialogue


BANGKOK, June 6 — Military representatives of several countries recently attending the 13th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore seem to have understood the Thai political situation, according to Maj Gen Napat Sukjit, attached to the Office of the Permanent Secretary for Defence.

While representatives of several nations understand the necessity for the military to have staged the May 22 bloodless coup, Australia, the US and the European Union continue to ‘pressure’ Thailand.

The US defence secretary advised Thailand at the meeting, attended by military commanders from some 30 Asia Pacific countries, that Thailand should respect the freedom of expression and for the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) who seized administrative power, to release those in detention, Gen Napat said.

Deputy Permanent Secretary for Defence Adm Polawat Sirodom explained the military action to the meeting while Sihasak Phuangketkeow, permanent secretary for foreign affairs, told journalists attending the meeting that Thailand is still following the democratic system as the NCPO is in the process of reforming politics in the country.

The Peace and Order Council has also started releasing people who have been detained and has softened measures forbidding people from expressing their opinions on local politics, Mr Sihasak reportedly told the journalists.

Gen Napat said Gen Surasak Kanchanarat, deputy permanent secretary for defence, will lead senior military officers to attend a three-day security meeting with high-ranking Chinese military officers in Beijing starting Wednesday.

It was expected that both sides would review the previous cooperation and planning for the future cooperation.