Pols & military in same bed over A112-Bangkok Post
February 12, 2012
[FACT comments: Does anybody else think this sounds like a direct threat of violence?]
Army, cabinet close ranks on Section 112
Pakawat Sunpituksaree & Wassana Nanuam
Bangkok Post: February 8, 2012
Cabinet ministers and military top brass are backing army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha’s call for the Campaign Committee for the Amendment of Section 112 to halt its activities.
Deputy Prime Minister Yutthasak Sasiprapa yesterday said the army would never allow the Criminal Code’s Section 112 to be amended.
“Any act demeaning the monarchy or Thai people’s feelings should be stopped. If they stop this movement, peace can be achieved,” Gen Yutthasak said.
Gen Yutthasak’s comment came a day after Gen Prayuth urged the group, an alliance of academic and intellectuals, including the Nitirat Group, to halt its campaign as its actions would only deepen the divisions in the country.
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung said he agreed “wholeheartedly” with the comments made by the army chief against the Nitirat group.
“If the politicians are not doing it, how are they going to amend the law? Please stop this now,” Mr Chalerm said.
Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Nattawut Saikuar said the government is obliged to respect freedom of expression as long as it stays within the bounds of the law.
“Blocking freedom of expression can lead to violence and more conflict and would actually do more harm than just listening to and understanding the other person’s opinion and trying to have an open mind,” he said.
Mr Nattawut insisted that the government had nothing to do with the Nitirat group.
“It’s only the Democrat Party which is still trying to say otherwise,” he said.
Navy chief Surasak Roonroengrom said yesterday that demands to amend Section 112 should stop for the sake of national security and unity.
“I think that the armed forces are watching to see if the movement will affect national security. I share the opinion of the majority of people that this issue is useless,” Adm Surasak said.
He added that national progress requires security and unity and the push to amend Section 112 should have ceased long ago.
First Army chief Udomdej Seetabutr said military top brass are of the same mindset as Supreme Commander Thanasak Patimapakorn and the army chief, who say the monarchy deserves the utmost protection because it brings about national security.